Gent-Wevelgem Race Review (1.WWT)

@boelsdolmanscyclingteam GWE

Chantal Blaak soloed to her second UCI WWT victory at Gent-Wevelgem yesterday. The Dutch rider slipped away from the seventeen-rider breakaway with around 10km to the finish line. Despite her compatriot van Vleuten efforts, Blaak immediately gained a gap that was never closed. She reached the finish line with over a minute advantage ahead of a seven-rider chasing group.

Blaak’s third victory of the season, after Le Samyn and Ronde van Drenthe, is Boels-Dolmans fourth out of four victory at the newborn UCI WWT. The Dutch-registered squad, which recently announced title sponsors Boels Rental and Dolmans Landscaping had extended their sponsorship through 2018, carries an untarnished winning streak as they have finished on the podium at all of their 2016 season races with the only exception of Omloop van het Hageland Tielt-Winge.

Wind, cobblestones and hills contributed along with the cyclists and their multiple attacks to generate a thrilling round, that again we could not watch it live, with the peloton completely broken into several groups due to the high pace during the whole race.

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The action started at mark 48km, when the race had reached the bottom of the first ascent of the Kemmelberg as twenty-seven riders took the lead. Armitstead, Johansson, van Dijk, van Vleuten, Blaak, D’hoore among others when Boels-Dolmans had all their six-rider roster in the selection.
The 2,5km-long Kemmelberg (with 24.4% maximum and 4.4% average gradients) played again a key role on 2016 Gent-Wevelgem edition as riders went really fast uphill. At the second ascent of the Kemmelberg the leading group got reduced to a number of only seventeen riders. when some riders, as local D’hoore or Majerus, were drop. Despite being only a few meters behind the leading group after the Kemmelberg they could not manage to close the gap due to the high tempo pace on the front.
Boles-Dolmans conducted a major leading role on the front group as they had 5 riders in it (Blaak, van Dijk, Armitstead, Guarnier, Kasper). Outnumbering most of the teams on the front, the Dutch team played their numbers while other teams had simply to gamble.
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With over 10km to go and tailwind blowing, it was Armitstead who opened the final action. Her attack was quickly followed by American Carmen Small (Cervélo Bigla). And as soon as Lizzie was caught back by the group, Dutch rider Chantal Blaak gave it a try. Her compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-AIS) tried to jump to get her wheel. However, she did not make it and her gap just got bigger and bigger.
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“I am really surprised about Chantal Blaak because I reacted on the breakaway and then Emma and Lisa. So three riders with some power and we were chasing really maximum but the gap was getting bigger. And then Boels came back and disturb a bit our cooperation and that made stop the chase a little bit” Annemiek said after the race.
At the chasing group nobody really leads the chasing efforts, assuming they somehow could only see Chantal on the podium. Thus, Blaaki crossed the Gent-Wevelgem finish-line with over a minute advantage to a reduced chasing group. German champion Lisa Brennauer (Canyon SRAM) won the sprint of the chasing group to finish second while Dutch champion Lucinda Brand (Rabobank Liv) came third.
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“It’s unbelievable. I don’t know how we do it but it feels really good” Third victory of the season for Chantal “I don’t know, I just had a good weeks. I am really happy at the moment. In the team everything works out. I don’t know, it just worked. It gives so much confidence if you are all together. We don’t need so much work. It is just we look at each other and we know what to do. It’s such a good feeling” said Blaak after her outstanding victory.
Chantal express as well that her team strategy was not focused on any particular rider but to keep as many riders as posible on the front group after the second ascend to the Kemmelberg and later on taking their chances. Despite feeling delighted with the idea of wearing UCI WWT leader jersey at Ronde van Vlaanderen Chantal vanished any intra team battle for the Women’s World Tour when asked about it by just saying they see race by race how it goes and how they play their odds to win them.

Lisa Brennauer, Blaak and Lucinda Brand celebrate on the podium (LUC CLAESSEN/AFP/Getty Images)
Lisa Brennauer, Blaak and Lucinda Brand celebrate on the podium (LUC CLAESSEN/Getty Images)

Gent-Wevelgem  U19 Dames Junioren 2016


Nathalie Bex (Belgium)



Elisa Balsamo (Valcar PBM)



Susanne Andersen (Norway)



Next UCI WWT race will be next Sunday 3rd of April at Women’s WorldTour Ronde van Vlaanderen. The cobbles and hills of Gent Wevelgem served as a fitting warm-up ahead of next weekend’s Ronde van Vlaanderen course. The UCI WWT rankings remains as follows:

UCI Women’s WorldTour Individual Ranking

1 Chantal Blaak Boels Dolmans 258
2 Elizabeth Armitstead Boels Dolmans 248
3 Emma Johansson Wiggle High5 185
4 Anna van der Breggen Rabobank Liv 180
5 Megan Guarnier Boels Dolmans 170
6 Annemiek van Vleuten Orica-AIS 155
7 Katarzyna Niewiadoma Rabobank Liv 140
8 Jolanda Neff Serveto-Footon 119
9 Leah Kirchmann Liv Plantur 106
10 Lisa Brennauer Canyon SRAM 104
11 Gracie Elvin Orica-AIS 104
12 Lucinda Brand Wiggle High5 101
13 Lauren Kitchen Hitec Products 95
14 Trixi Worrack Canyon SRAM 85
15 Amy Pieters Wiggle High5 84

UCI Women’s WorldTour Youth Ranking

1 Floortje Mackaij  Liv Plantur 12
2 Katarzyna Niewiadoma Rabobank Liv 12
3 Alexis Ryan Canyon SRAM 6

Women’s WorldTour Team Ranking

1 Boels Dolmans 744
2 Rabobank Liv 453
3 Wiggle High5 398

Highlights Gen-Wevelgem UCI WWT



Official web
Junior Results

Written by:
Diego Martín

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