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Boels-Dolmans riders finish 1st and 2nd as van Dijk attacks solo from 27km to win

Ellen van Dijk of Boels-Dolmans, runner-up last year, has won the Tour of Flanders for Women with an attack from 27km out, her team mate Lizzie Armitstead crossing the line second to consolidate her lead in the UCI Women World Cup after three events.

Emma Johannson of Orica-AIS, winner of the Trofeo Alfredo Binda last weekend, the second event in the nine-race series, finished behind the Boels-Dolmans pair – the third time she has been on the bottom step of the podium at Flanders.

Van Dijk, the reigning world time trial champion, led by 40 seconds going over the last of the 10 climbs, the Paterberg, with three riders on their own behind her – Armitstead, Johannson, and Elisa Longo-Borghini of Hitec Products.

The Dutch rider would not be brought back, and as Armitstead crossed the line behind her, she punched the air, as much in celebration of her team mate’s win as for extending her own grip on the series leader’s jersey.

Here's the video highlights:

“It was our team tactics played out to perfection," said van Dijk afterwards. "I would go first and we would have Lizzie behind me. It was from the book.”

Reflecting on the flat 13km section that followed the Paterberg, she went on: “It hurt but when with a few kilometres to go I had a tailwind I knew I could win. And if you know your teammate is behind you, you can go just a little bit faster.

“Those last kilometres were really hard. I still can’t believe I did it. I wanted to win three races in my career: the world title, the Tour of Flanders and the Olympics. Now only one remains,” van Dijk added.  

It’s the 27-year-old van Dijk’s third victory in a World Cup race, and follows the opening two races this season in which she worked tirelessly for Armitstead, including helping chase down attacks at last month’s Ronde van Drenthe to set up the 25-year-old Yorkshirewoman’s victory.

Armitstead, meanwhile, continues her dominance of the nine-race competition – with three events now raced, she is yet to finish outside the first two.

After finishing second today, she said: "Ellen worked hard for me in the previous races. That’s the beauty of this sport. We are a team. I was really emotional when she won.”

Last year’s winner, world road champion Marianne Vos of Rabobank-Liv, didn’t ride, although she was spotted out on the course giving encouragement to her team mates in the 139km race.

Born in Scotland, Simon moved to London aged seven and now lives in the Oxfordshire Cotswolds with his miniature schnauzer, Elodie. He fell in love with cycling one Saturday morning in 1994 while living in Italy when Milan-San Remo went past his front door. A daily cycle commuter in London back before riding to work started to boom, he's been news editor at road.cc since 2009. Handily for work, he speaks French and Italian. He doesn't get to ride his Colnago as often as he'd like, and freely admits he's much more adept at cooking than fettling with bikes.

8 comments

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bikecellar [268 posts] 2 years ago
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 1 Well done Lizzie!

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themartincox [488 posts] 2 years ago
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1 (now 2) comment on this post, 25 on the mens race.

And, I would hazard a guess, that's why there is so little coverage/media interest in women's racing.

And this is with a GB cyclist coming in silver (and still being top of the world cup) on a site where so many participants proclaim a desire for women's cycling!

doesn't bode well surely?

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daccordimark [29 posts] 2 years ago
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Great result for Boels-Domans, nicely played Lizzie. Looking forward to Flèche Wallonne!

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mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
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So great to see Lizzie at the top, hope she finished the cup in the same position!!!

Lovely to see van Dijk take the win, too, she's been on the podium before but never quite clinched it - well deserved victory.  1

Bit gutted about the lack of coverage though, considering the status of the race. There was a bit of an "out of date" mention from the guys covering the mens on ES but it doesn't really cut it - they're on the same course, it doesn't make sense why they couldn't run coverage of both.

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700c [851 posts] 2 years ago
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I think 4x more comments for the Men's than the Women's races on here says a lot. Yes, it's a shame there was not coverage of the Womens but broadcasting decisions have to factor in demand

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themartincox [488 posts] 2 years ago
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I was out so couldn't watch any coverage at all yesterday - but found that refreshing #RVV on twitter gave me heaps of info about the women's race - but I gather the 'TV' coverage wouldn't have been so good?

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mooleur [537 posts] 2 years ago
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themartincox wrote:

I was out so couldn't watch any coverage at all yesterday - but found that refreshing #RVV on twitter gave me heaps of info about the women's race - but I gather the 'TV' coverage wouldn't have been so good?

Nail on the head really, twitter is brilliant for following the womens races, so many super enthusiastic folks on there wanting to share info - plus there are a few DS's for the big women's teams that like to help out where they can and post live updates and pics.

"TV"/media coverage was even worse than last years as far as I'm aware!

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Neil753 [447 posts] 2 years ago
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Fantastic to see Lizzie doing so well, but what's so desperately needed in womens' cycling is evocative coverage, with less of the sacharine, half hearted commentary and perambulatory footage we see so often.

I don't want to just see the ladies riding along and jumping off the front occasionally, I want to see the whole story; speed, danger, grit, determination, surprise, hope, anguish, elation and sorrow - right up close.

With a slicker presentation, womens' cycling has the potential to become very watchable indeed. Oh, and isn't it about time we had "on-bike" cameras too ?