Road World Cup 2008
Tour of Flanders, 114km
In a late break, Judith Arndt outsprinted Kristin Armstrong to take the fifth Tour of Flanders for women.
Active in breaks all day, both rider's teams (Team High Road & Cervélo Lifeforce) provided the springboard for the pair to jump away after the final climb of the race. Armstrong went, followed by Arndt. The German was strongest in the sprint, winning by several bikelengths as the American sat up in defeat just before the line. Kirsten Wild (AA Drink) won the group sprint for third from Oenone Wood (High Road).
Suzanne De Goede (Équipe Nürnberger) finished sixth. Her consistency across the series so far means that she takes the Leader's Jersey to the Ronde van Drenthe on Saturday.
Full Report >>
The Tour of Flanders is one of the biggest races in the World Cup Series. The race runs in parallel with the men’s (Pro Tour) event, with the closing kilometres covering the same parcours. The legendary climbs of the Muur (in Geraardsbergen) and Bosberg (11% and with 400 metres of cobbles) just 12 kilometres from the finish have been known as the place for the winner to launch her attack in the past.
this, the fifth running De Ronde van Vlaanderen, there was action
throughout the race, with the first riders attacking on the very first
climb, Molenberg. Delays caused by crashes on the wet cobblestones made
others nervous to maintain their position in the bunch without expending
extra energy chasing back to position.
Worrack (Équipe Nürnberger) was particularly unfortunate; she suffered
crashes at both ends of the race. Initially falling in the opening 25
kilometres, she was forced to switch to a spare bike and continued racing.
Then, with only a few kilometres remaining, she was floored by a race
motorcycle and taken to hospital. Whilst the German was not seriously
injured, reports are that she is battered and heavily bruised; she had
been in a position to help Suzanne De Goede with her sprint in the
breakaway. After the event, De Goede admitted that she had been aware that
a good finish could put her into the World Cup lead. “I was sorry for
Trixi and disappointed that she was missing, she was in the front group
and we could have worked together in the sprint.”
Molenberg, Chantal Beltman
(Team High Road), Marianne Vos (DSB Bank), Emma Johanssen (AA Drink) and
Noemi Cantele (Team Bigla) got away. Giorgia Bronzini (Italy) and Luise
Keller (Team High Road) jumped to close the gap over the cobbles through
Mater. The lead group never managed to gain more than 1 minute 30 seconds,
but the aggressive format for the race had been created.
Muur caused the race to ‘explode’ and a group of fifteen riders
formed. There were some attacks and counter-attacks on the way to Bosberg
and it was on the final climb that the ever-active Chantal Beltman (Team
High Road) attacked again, with Cantele, Duester (Cervélo Lifeforce),
Johanssen (AA Drink), Vos (DSB Bank) and 2007 winner, Cooke (Bike Hut)
going with her. Initially, Judith Arndt hesitated, given that the team
already had Beltman ahead. Then she went, countering an attack by 2007
winner, Nicole Cooke (Bike Hut), which Beltman had closed.
the rolling roads to the finish, it was only Kristin Armstrong (Cervélo
Lifeforce) who could break away. She launched a strong attack and the only
rider strong enough to go with her was Judith Arndt. The pair worked
together on the run-in along the wide, dual carriageway, road. They turned
right into the final 500 metres of the course and began sprinting. Despite
a brave challenge by the American, Arndt opened up the gap and had time
for an uncharacteristic celebration on the finish line (she is known for
wisely making sure of the win and giving a victory salute well after the
line). Kirsten Wild (AA Drink) won the sprint for third from Oenone Wood
(Team High Road), with Marianne Vos (DSB Bank) fifth and Suzanne De Goede
(Équipe Nürnberger) sixth. The remainder of the fifteen rider breakaway
was completed by Nicole Cooke (Bike Hut), who rolled in at the rear. Her
trump cards had been played earlier
Arndt was overjoyed with her win. The German was quick to praise the
efforts of her team-mates, recognising that “I didn’t have to do much
because I had a team-mate [Chantal Beltman] in the break”. The place
that Flanders has in the hearts of the elite women’s peloton is without
doubt; “It is the best feeling. It is so special to win here at
Flanders.” For the former World Champion and formidable stage race and
one-day winner, this was the addition of yet another World Cup race of
those regularly included in the series from recent years.
De Goede (Équipe Nürnberger) was announced World Cup series Leader and
presented to the crowd alongside Pro Tour leader, Andrei Greipel.
Unfortunately, logistical problems meant that there was no jersey for the
Dutchwoman to show off. She will have to wait until next Saturday, for the
Ronde van Drenthe, when the World Cup continues with round 4 to pull on
the multicoloured jersey.
finishing in all three World Cups so far put De Goede on 95 points. She
leads Arndt and Emma Pooley (Team Specialized Designs for Women) in the
standings. The second and third-placed riders are equal on 75 points each.
Judith Arndt (Team High Road) spoke exclusively to WCN after the finish : “I didn’t have to do much because I had a team-mate [Chantal Beltman] in the break”. The place that Flanders has in the hearts of the elite women’s peloton is without doubt; “It is the best feeling. It is so special to win here at Flanders.”
Suzanne De Goede (Equipe Nurnberger) admitted that she had been aware that a good finish could put her into the World Cup lead. “I was sorry for Trixi and disappointed that she was missing, she was in the front group and we could have worked together in the sprint."
Results - Top 10 - click here to see full result
Photos Click on any image to enlarge >>
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