Overview

VAN VLEUTEN TAKES ON CHAMPIONS KOPECKY AND BALSAMO IN DE RONDE

29 March 2022

Sunday is the high point of the holy week of cycling. Then the top women's cyclists will be lining up in Oudenaarde at the start of the 19th Tour of Flanders. After two editions without the public, this year will undoubtedly be a great cycling day with the fans. Will Annemiek van Vleuten win the race, just like she did last year, or will Balsamo be victorious in Oudenaarde like she was in Wevelgem?

Check out the start list here

At 13:25 the peloton will depart from Oudenaarde for a race of 159 km with 11 climbs and 6 cobblestone sections, including the Koppenberg for the first time ever. Co-record holder Annemiek van Vleuten, who soloed in Oudenaarde last year, will be lining up again at the start on Sunday. With Emma Bjerg at her side, who was fifth in Wevelgem on Sunday and didn't finish outside the top 6 this season.

But the opposition on Sunday is certainly not insignificant. Trek-Segafredo will line up with the reigning world champion and winner of Gent-Wevelgem. The Italian Balsamo will be supported by Van Dijk and Borghini, two former winners of the Tour. Team SD Worx is betting on Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky. She will team up with former winner Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and Vollering. 

Other former winners on Jumbo-Visma’s provisional start list, Marianne Vos and Coryn Labecki, won Flanders’ Finest in 2013 and 2017 respectively. They will be heading to the Koppenberg, Oude Kwaremont and Paterberg with teammate Anna Henderson. Lisa Brennauer, who was second in Oudenaarde last year, is on duty for Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling and forms a tandem with the fast Maria Giulia Confalonieri who was third in Gent-Wevelgem. She will be competing, among others, against Grace Brown, who was also on the podium in 2021. For FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, the Australian joins forces with the ever enthusiastic Uttrup Ludwig.

Canyon // SRAM Racing will be fronted by Katarzyna Niewiadoma. Team DSM will be choosing the fast legs of Wiebes, who will be lining up with Mackaij and Lippert. The start list is studded with ex-winners. With Bastianelli, UAE Team ADQ can also count on the experience of a former winner. The Italian will be riding with Bujak and Bartizollo. Valcar Travel Services has two quick spokes on the provisional starting list with Consonni and Persico.

For the Norwegian UNO-X Pro Cycling Team, Susanne Andersen is the leader. Team BikeExchange-Jayco is pinning its hopes on Teniel Campbell and the Australian Amanda Spratt. EF Education-Tibco-SVB is counting on Elizabeth Banks and Liv Racing Xtra on Demey.

The cycling highlight is rapidly approaching now. Who will succeed Annemiek van Vleuten in Oudenaarde on Sunday 3 April? We will know at around 18:00. Again this year, the Tour of Flanders for women will be finishing after the men. The finishing stages of the women’s race will be broadcast live on television following the men's race.

Check out the start list here.

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