Lisa Brennauer won the sprint for second today at Gent-Wevelgem, Belgium. The CANYON//SRAM Racing rider finished second to Chantal Blaak (DLT) who won solo, while Lucinda Brand (RLT) was third. Following the win, Blaak takes over the overall leaders jersey in the Women’s WorldTour after four races.
Windy conditions played havoc with the peloton for the entire race. Essentially the winning move was already created the first time up the Kemmelberg climb. Brennauer said “It was a very hard day with real sudden bursts of wind. Alexis Ryan led me well into the first Kemmelberg and Elena Cecchini was there with me too. There were a few minor changes to that front group with people dropping or joining but more or less that was already the winning move for the race.”
Boels Dolman were best represented with six in the front group of 28 riders. “They played their numbers well and directly were attacking. Elena and I had spoken together about our best plan. When Blaak attacked, I was in a chase group with Johansson (WHT) and Van Vleuten (OGE). But Boels brought us back with around 10km to go and the chase group behind us had split completely. I was alone and I thought to myself that okay now I have to gamble a bit.”
A tailwind and straight line to the finish meant high speeds for the final three kilometres and an advantage for Blaak who continued solo to the line for the race win. “Close to the end both van Dijk and Kasper (DLT) were attacking. The speeds were really high and also in the sprint there could be nothing so explosive. Amy Pieters (WHT) led out way too early and just as she slowed down then I started my sprint. I was optimistic in a sprint from this group, and in the end that’s what it came down to.”
Following the race Brennauer paid tribute to her team mates and overall how the team has reacted following the serious crash of Trixi Worrack last weekend at Trofeo Alfredo Binda. “With everything that happened last week to Trixi, I really think it’s nice that we stuck together as a team. We really are a strong unit and I’m pleased to get second today for the team.”