With an acceleration on the Oude Kwaremont and a strong solo effort, Chantal Van den Broek-Blaak won the 17th edition of the Tour of Flanders for women. Amy Pieters, team mate of the winner, sprinted to second place, ahead of Belgian champion Kopecky.
In contrast to the previous races, De Brabantse Pijl and Gent-Wevelgem, the peloton did have an early breakaway in the Tour of Flanders. There were five riders: Beekhuis (Lotto Soudal Ladies), Rodriguez (Movistar Team Women), Kröger (Hitec Products - Birk Sport), Franz (Rally Cycling - Women) and Newsom (Team Tibco - Silicon Valley Bank).
In the peloton there were several attempts to form a chasing group, but nobody really got away. In the meantime, the door in the peloton was open at the back, where the successive hills slowly but surely took their toll. The leading group stayed ahead until about 40 km from the finish, until they were caught by the peloton on the Taaienberg.
The Hotond waited 27 km from the finish, where Van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) attacked. The European champion made everyone suffer and went off on her own. Only world champion Van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) was able to close the gap with Van Vleuten. Once she joined the European champion, Van der Breggen kept her legs still. This allowed the chasing group to come back, so a select group took on the Oude Kwaremont.
On the Oude Kwaremmont it was once again Van Vleuten who set the pace. Once at the top, Van den Broek - Blaak (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) accelerated. She created a small lead and rode solo towards the final climb of the day. In the chasing group nobody was able to accelerate on the Paterberg and so Van den Broek - Blaak could undertake a time trial of 14 km.
In the background the competitors tried to close the gap, but Van den Broek-Blaak rode away from the chasing group meter by meter. She finished solo on the Minderbroederstraat in Oudenaarde. Among the chasing group, Pieters (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) and Kopecky (Lotto Soudal Ladies) sprinted to second and third place respectively.