It was the first edition of the Brabantse Pijl for Elite Women, before it was called the Pajot Hills Classic. As in Overijse, the deceased Michael Goolaerts was also commemorated in Gooik with a one minute of silence. Afterwards, 138 riders left for 136 km through the Pajottenland. Between start and finish in Gooik, a lot of climbing and cobblestones for the riders.
The first attack of the day came from Jessy Druyts, who was joined by Kseniia Dobrynina, but the duo did not get very far. An attempt of Flavia de Oliveira was also over before she even had a nice lead.
After 40 kilometers, the traditional flight of the day was there. With: Janneke Ensing, Rasa Leleivyte, Ruth Winder, Amanda Spratt, Spela Kern, Yara Kastelijn, Agnieszka Skalniak and Kelly Druyts. That group had a minute lead before the peloton for a long time, but after a counterattack from the peloton that lead was quickly reduced to twenty seconds.
The lead was completely negated by an attack attempt by five, including Jessica Allen, Liane Lippert and Sarah Rijkes. The peloton reacted immediately and immediately closed the gap with the 8 leaders.
With a complete peloton we entered the final three local laps of 21km. After a fall on the cobblestones of the Blijkheersstraat, seven riders went into the attack. Again Janneke Ensing, Lianne Lippert, and Amanda Spratt, this time in the company of European champion Marianne Vos, Demi De Jong, Anna Henderson and Sofie De Vuyst. Behind the leaders there was a group of 28 with Bastianelli, Brand, Kirchmann, D'Hoore, Bujak and Kelly Druyts. Ruth Winder tried another counterattack, but again there was an acceleration from the background that countered both the counterattack and the gap on the leaders.
Just before the last lap, we again got a group of 35 riders, but it went too fast for Ruth Winder. We headed for a sprint with the leading group. Marta Bastianelli was too fast for the Canadian Leah Kirchman and the European Champion Vos. Jolien D'hoore had to content herself with the 4th place, Maria Confalonieri completed the top 5.
Report: Pieter Vanraes