British road race national champion Lizzie Armitstead soloed to win the inaugural edition of the women’s Ghent-Wevelgem in Belgium on Sunday.
Armitstead (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) broke free of the bunch on the second of four of the 113.7km race’s climbs. Liesbeth De Vocht (Rabobank) was the only rider to try and jump to Armitstead’s wheel, but couldn’t keep pace and dropped back.
Armitstead then slipped into time trial mode to distance the chasers further. A group of five formed behind, but with two of Armitstead’s AA Drink team-mates – Jessie Daams and Kirsten Wild – in attendance their chasing efforts were curtailed.
The Yorkshire woman soloed for 25 kilometres to reach Wevelgem and take the victory.
“It was a nice tactic, we have Kirsten Wild as a sprinter in the group, so I go on the climb to see what happens and we always have Kirsten for the sprint,” Armitstead said at the finish.
It’s Armitstead’s second big win of 2012 after she won Omloop van het Hageland at the beginning of March. This latest win has particular resonance as it featured a similar course to the Olympic games road race this July – Armitstead’s big target for the season.
In Italy on Sunday, Marianne Vos (Rabobank) won the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, second round of the 2012 UCI Women’s World Cup.
Women’s Ghent-Wevelgem 2012, 113.7km
1. Lizzie Armitstead (GBr) AA Drink-Leontien.nl
2. Iris Slappendel (Ned) Rabobank Women Team
3. Jessie Daams (Bel) AA Drink-Leontien.nl
4. Lise Nøstvold (Nor) Hitec Products-Mistral Home
5. Kirsten Wild (Ned) AA Drink-Leontien.nl