Coryn Rivera won the Tour of Flanders for the Elite Women The racer wrested the lead from a small leading group and spurted to victory, after four frontrunners had to concede at the finish. Lotte Kopecky was the best of the Belgian racers and came in fifth, while Jolien D’Hoore clearly had an off day. Rivera was the first American to ever win the women’s Tour, joining Great Britain’s Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Armitstead on the list of winners.
This edition was characterised by a long approach. Neither the first hills nor the first stretches of cobblestones produced any fireworks: to the contrary. Except for a few isolated attempts, there were no real attacks that deserve recognition. Spectators had to wait until the Muur for the race to break open. Rozanne Slik (Sunweb) launched the first genuine attack of the day, gaining a lead of 1’40”; however, following a counter-attack by Elise Delzenne (Lotto Soudal) the entire pack surged into life.
In the meantime, the first signs that Jolien D’Hoore (Wiggle) was not having a good day flickered into sight. The Belgian racer even filled up her drinking bottles and consulted with her team mate Longo Borghini. This became clear when the tour broke open entirely on the Kanarieberg. A group of 30 racers sprinted ahead, but D’Hoore was not among them.
Lotte Kopecky, however, was - but had to pass when Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) jumped ahead. She also acquired Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle) and Kasia Niewadoma (WM3 Energie) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica) along the way. The quartet was able to get ahead by 35 seconds, and it seemed as they would be maintain their leading position; however, in the final kilometre the gap closed and the race ended with a sprint between 15 women. Rivera showed herself to be the quickest of the lot, crossing the finish line before Elvin and Blaak. Van Vleuten came in fourth, and Kopecky fifth.
Photos: © Digitalclickx