31.03.2024 , ,


Kasia Niewiadoma’s remarkable ride at Ronde van Vlaanderen today in Belgium gave her a career-best second place. With a gutsy performance in rain-soaked conditions, it was CANYON//SRAM Racing’s first-ever podium at Flanders after being close on many occasions.

An early breakaway of five riders on the 163km course built a lead of over two minutes, but the gap was slowly whittled down as the peloton hit the final 45km of racing. A sprint lead out into the bottom of the Koppenberg ensued, with Kasia well-positioned near the front. Just behind, teammate Chloé Dygert was also forward in the peloton but suffered her third crash of the day on the steep slopes of the Koppenberg and, along with many other riders, she was forced to walk the cobbled climb.

On the top of the Koppenberg, Kasia forged herself into an elite group of leading riders. The newly formed breakaway worked well until a firework of attacks on the Kruisberg/Hotond, including a timely attack from Kasia herself. Behind, a small group chased in earnest, one by one dropping riders from the pace needed to claw back the leaders. A solo attack by Shirin van Anrooij (LTK) gave her a 15-second lead as the chase group once again came together over the penultimate climb of the Oude Kwaremont. The Paterberg, the day’s final savage climb and just 13km before the finish, loomed ahead. As the ramp hit 18%, Kasia and Elisa Longo Borghini (LTK) could bridge to van Anrooij with just a six-second gap to those behind.

In the final kilometres, the trio of riders shared the workload with the chase group, always within sight, holding a gap that hovered dangerously around 20 seconds. A nail-biting finish saw the leaders cross the line nine seconds ahead of the chase group with a host of top sprinters. Longo Borghini won the sprint to take her second Flanders victory, with Kasia’s sensational performance giving her second place. Van Anrooij held on to complete the podium.


Kasia Niewiadoma: “That was a brutal day out there today. It was so cold. I was in a good position going into the Koppenberg, and our group had a good constellation of riders afterwards. We worked well together until a certain point, and then some attacks and different scenarios meant that van Anrooij was ahead, and the chase group came back to us before the bottom of the Kwaremont. When (Lotte) Kopecky set the pace, and it wasn’t too hard to drop me, I knew then that my best chance was to try and get away on the Paterberg.”

“It honestly felt so slow on the Paterberg, but when I looked and saw that it was only Longo Borghini next to me and no one else, I kept pushing. I worked with the two riders because that gave me the best chance to try to win the race. Behind, I would have had a different chance to win with the likes of the sprinters. Sometimes, in the run into the finish, I would think I would be okay with a podium, but then I snapped out of it and reminded myself that our team was here for the win, and that’s what I fought for. I didn’t get it, but getting second at Flanders is special to me and our team.”

“It’s the first time our team has been on the podium at Flanders, and we can’t be disheartened with that. Second at Flanders, and to be disappointed, who would be?! I’m thrilled that it shows how my preparation for Flanders worked and how good my shape is. There are some other important races ahead. We have faith that the big victory is coming.”


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