Kasia Niewiadoma, finally!

April 17 th 2024 - 18:27

Few victories are as exciting and as meaningful as the one Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon//SRAM) scored today in the 27th edition of La Flèche Wallonne Femmes. The Polish rider defeated 2023 winner Demi Vollering (SD Worx-ProTime) and Italian national champion Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) in the final climb to the Mur de Huy to finally net her first win after a 1770-day drought. It has taken her 53 top5 placings, including a 2nd position on the 2021 edition of this very race, to finally raise her arms in victory again. ‘Kasia’ exploded in tears after the finish line, leaving an emotional lesson: she who perseveres, succeeds.

La Flèche Wallonne Femmes 2024 - Extended Highlights - Pushing to the limit

139 riders started the 27th edition of La Flèche Wallonne Femmes at 14:02 from Huy’s Grand-Place, taking on a 146-kilometre course to finish atop the iconic Mur de Huy. A rain shower turned into a snow fall as temperatures froze down to 5ºC, creating some hard weather conditions that would prove impactful in the unfolding of the race. Arkéa-Samsic’s Maaike Coljé was the first to abandon following a crash in the neutral zone. No breakaway went clear as the Côte de Gives (km 7,1 - 2,1 km at 5,5%) and Côte de Courrière (km 37,6 - 1,4 km at 7,1%) were ridden and left behind, creating some damage as pre-race favorites like Mavi García (Liv-AlUla-Jayco) struggled to keep up with the peloton’s pace.

A three-woman breakaway set the tone
Sara Martín (Movistar Team), Julie Van de Velde (AG Insurance-Soudal Team) and Elena Hartmann (Roland) attacked and went clear at kilometer 40, clocking a 1’40” advantage on the pack atop the Côte d'Evrehailles (km 53,4). The weather got better, from rainy and cold to just cloudy, as 89 kilometres into the race their gap topped at 4’25”, with Visma | Lease a Bike at the helm in the bunch. It was in the Côte d'Ereffe (km 101,4 - 2,1 km at 5%) that the peloton woke up. FDJ-SUEZ’s Grace Brown and Fenix-Deceuninck’s Pauline Rooijakkers took off and crested the climb 3’35” behind the front trio, with the peloton 10 seconds further back.

Everything up for grabs at the Mur de Huy
The first climb to the Mur de Huy (km 114,3 - 1,3 km at 9,6%) proved too demanding for Hartmann, who left Van de Velde and Martín alone at the head of the race. Across the summit, they had 2’09” on Brown and Rooijakkers and 2’32” on a 50-strong peloton led by SD Worx-ProTime. The chasing duo was reeled in with 17 kilometres to go by a peloton that was just 1’20” behind the head of the race at that point following a coordinated effort by Canyon//SRAM and the aforementioned SD Worx-ProTime. Several attacks happened up the Côte d'Ereffe (km 133,1 - 2,1 km at 5%) as the front duo was swept up and a 50-strong group was left at the head of the race. Riejanne Markus (Visma | Lease a Bike) put on a solo attack with 5 kilometres to go that stuck until the foot of the Mur de Huy. She was caught with 700 meters to go by Demi Vollering (SD Worx-ProTime), who marshalled the main group until Niewiadoma’s final, winning acceleration 200 meters from the finish.


Follow us

Get exclusive information about the Flèche Wallonne Femmes