Fifth crown for Queen Anna
April 24 th 2019 - 15:35
Like on the four previous editions, but this time with the World Champion’s jersey on her shoulders, Anna van der Breggen conquered the Flèche Wallonne Femmes for a fifth time. The Dutch rider waited for the final climb up the Mur de Huy to produce her effort, catching Newiadoma and eventually beating to line her compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten while her Boels-Dolmans team mate Annika Langvad had to settle for third spot.
Under a beautiful sunshine, the 140 riders gathered for the very first time on the Grand-Place de Huy for the start of the 22nd edition of the Flèche Wallonne Femmes. The pack remained bunched all the way to kilometre five when Jasinska (MOV) was the first to take off, but her effort was eventually vain several kilometres later. Eventually at km 30, a group of 6 riders managed to pull away including Jasinska (MOV), Penuela (ALE), Blais (ASA), Stephens (TIB), Adegeet (PHV) and Riabchenko (DVE). At the top of the Côte de Warre, Riabchenko led the way while the pack was 2’30’’ adrift.
Teams Sunweb, Mitchelton-Scott and Trek-Segafredo moved to the front of the bunch and really started chasing. In the first climb up the Côte d’Ereffe, only two riders remained in the lead: Riabchenko and Jasinska. They were finally caught at km 75.
A second breakaway occurred at km 96 when four riders, Korevaar (CCC), Balsano (VAL), Winder (TFS) and Shekel (ASA), powered away. The front girls enjoyed a 42’’ advantage at km 100 but as Balsamo reached the top of the Côte d’Ereffe, the lead had dropped to 20’’. The escapees were to be caught on the descent. In the penultimate climb of the day, Spratt (MTS) tried her luck and made it first at the summit of the Côte de Cherave but the pack of around 50 riders remained bunched heading towards the city of Huy.
Wtih three kilometres to go, Mackaij (SUN) took off for a last solo effort. She still had a 15’’ lead with one kilometre to go but was caught 500m before the top of the Mur de Huy.
The first of the favourites to try her luck was the recent winner of the Amstel Gold Race, Newiadoma (CSR). The Polish rider managed to create a gap but her slightly too anticipated attack proved to be vain as her rivals moved closer. After having caught Newiadoma in the final 150m, Anna van der Breggen produced her effort never to be caught. The World Champion captured a fifth consecutive victory at the Fléche Wallonne beating her Dutch compatriot Annemiek van Vleuten (MTS) to the line. Third place went to Denmark’s Annika Langvad (DLT).