Just four days after winning Dwars door Vlaanderen, Finnish sprinter Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) has been the fastest again in another classic in Flanders: Gent-Wevelgem. It was an extremely close finish between Lepistö and local favourite Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle-High5) Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb), recent winner of the Trofeo Binda, was 3rd in a reduced bunch sprint.
The Belgian race showed once again to which extent the women’s peloton has increased its leven and depth compared to previous seasons. Despite the numerous attacks, none of them could stay clear, and so far each WorldTour race has had a different winner from a different team.
Curiously enough, most of the breakaway attempts happened during the flat sections of the race, as the two ascents of the Kemmelberg only made a moderate selection in the peloton. The final 40 kilometres were particularly intense with lots of attacks. Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) tried first on the Monteberg, then Marie Vilmann (Cervélo-Bigla). Katrin Garfoot (Orica-Scott), Ellen van Dijk (Team Sunweb), Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) and Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) made their move later but not even such a group of strong riders would escape from the peloton.
Ultimately, it was a sprint among a roughly 30 riders group. Coryn Rivera started first after a good lead out by teammate Lucinda Brand, but it was Lotta Lepistö who won with a perfectly timed effort in a very tight finish against Jolien D’hoore. Last year’s winner Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) was 8th, while Elena Cecchini closed the gap to the WWT leader jersey with her 9th place and Sheyla Gutiérrez (Cylance), 10th, continued her streak of solid performances in the Spring classics.
British rider Pffeifer Georgi won the junior edition of the race, also raced today.