Anna Van der Breggen wins La Flèche Wallonne – takes the title for the fifth time!

Anna Van der Breggen wins La Flèche Wallonne – takes the title for the fifth time!

Anna Van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans) could cross the finish line first on top of the famous Mur de Huy in yesterday’s Flèche Wallone.  

After nearly 30 km of racing, a 5-man breakaway escaped the peloton. As the race started facing the climbs of the Ardennes, the peloton quickly brought back the leaders. Entering Mur de Huy for the first time, the peloton was strongly reduced going onto the penultimate laps. In the last 20 km multiple riders tried to escape the reduced bunch, and with 7 km to go, a group of 13 riders broke away. It was in this group the winner was to be found. With 3 km to go Floortje Mackaij (Team Sunweb) went solo, and quickly got a lead of 15’’, but the Mur seemed too long, and she was captured with only 500 m to the finish line. Anna Van der Breggen once again turned out to be the strongest and she could take her fifth victory.

Australian, Rachel Neylan, was the strongest rider on Team VIRTU Cycling. She finishes with a 15thplace, just 40 seconds after Van der Breggen. DS Carmen Small evaluates on the race:

“Fléche was an okay race for the team. Sofia suffered a bit from her crash at Amstel and wasn’t 100% – both mentally and physically. She wasn’t feeling comfortable on the bike in the peloton and she ended of wasting too much energy in the wrong way.”

Small continues:

“I’m a little disappointed with not being in top 10, but on the other hand Rachel did a great race. She was there when she needed to be in a break, before the first time up the Huy, which allowed her to be in the front of the race and not waste a lot of energy having to chase back on. The girls did a good job and did a strong effort, but the front selection of about 13 girls were a bit too strong. We will keep fighting and might need to change the tactic a bit going into Liége”.

Though Marta Bastianelli wasn’t present at La Flèche Wallonne, she holds on to the UCI Women’s World Tour Leader’s Jersey.

Next race for the team is Liége Bastogne Liége on Sunday, April 28.