Traditionally, the Tour of Flanders for Elite Women started in Oudenaarde. Because of the bad weather conditions, it promised to be a heavy race for the 143 riders with 11 hills and 5 cobble stones sections.
Until after the cobble stones of the Lange Munte, the peloton stayed together because of the high speed. A first real attack came after 25 km: Swinkels, Boogaard, Gulliksen, Penton, Morzenti and Stougje jumped out of the bunch and got help from Ann-Sophie Duyck and Saartje Vandenbroucke. They started the Lippenhovestraat with a maximum lead of 15 sec. On the Paddestraat everything came back together.
Then there was an attack from an unexpected angle. Nathalie Van Gogh went alone and took a lead of one minute. The peloton seemed to let her go for a while, but on the Holleweg her empire was finished. The Haaghoek, the Leberg, the Berendries and Tenbosse made no difference. A complete bunch went towards Geraardsbergen where the Muur awaited the riders. When the riders entered Geraardsbergen, the race was interrupted by a huge crash. The biggest victims were Chloë Hosking and Roxanne Fournier, who both needed medical treatment.
The Kanarieberg caused gaps in the peloton. In the front, Amalie Dideriksen and Elena Cecchini tried to escape, but without success. Shortly after that, there was a group with eleven riders, where Anna van der Breggen could go on alone. The first group consisted of Pieters, Van Vleuten, Moolman-Pasio and Niewiadoma. Group number two consisted of big names as the first one: Van Dijk, Guarnier, Blaak, Jasinska and Brennauer. With at least one teammate in every following group, Boels-Dolmans clearly had the control over the race.
It couldn't be any different than van der Breggen who completed this impressive decisive escape. As Chantal Blaak promised this morning: the girls of Boels-Dolmans brought firework into the finale of this Tour of Flanders. Van der Breggen stood on the highest podium place in the Tour of Flanders as the fifth Dutchwoman ever. The party was totally white, blue, red with Amy Pieters and Annemiek Van Vleuten who accompanied van der Breggen on the podium.