Winder wins Brabant Pijl after millimeter sprint
After a race with no fewer than 22 hills, a front group of 6 sprinted for victory. Millimetres decided on the winner and losers of the day. In the end it was American champion Winder who won the race, ahead of Vollering and Balsamo.
For the second year in a row, the women started in Lennik for a 127 km ride. On the way to the finish in Overijse, no less than 22 hills were awaiting the riders. In the first part of the race several riders tried to force an early breakaway, but the peloton did not let them go. They reached the local laps in Overijse in close formation.
On the first passage of Moskesstraat and Holstheide the peloton split up, but no one broke away. And after the first time crossing the finish line, Van Vleuten (Movistar Team Women), Vollering and Moolman-Pasio (Team SD Worx), Brand (Trek-Segafredo) and Rivera (Team DSM) tried to attack, but they didn't get away either.
At the second passage on Moskesstraat, which will also be part of the road race route for the 2021 UCI Road World Championships, Balsamo (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Thomas (Movistar Team Women) saw their chance. They were joined by Fisher-Black (Team SD Worx), Amialiusik (Canyon//SRAM Racing) and Wiles (Trek-Segafredo), but once again the attack didn’t lead to anything.
After the second climb of the S-curve and at the start of the final laps, 6 riders managed to escape: Vollering (Team SD Worx), Balsamo (Valcar-Travel & Service), Labous (Team DSM), Lowden (Drops-Le Col Supported by Tempur), Thomas (Movistar Team Women) and Winder (Trek-Segafredo). At the top of the last Moskesstraat, they still had a gap of about 50 seconds on the chasing peloton.
At the front they found each other and pulled together to the final climb of the S-curve. The peloton was tired, the winner was in front. It was Lowden who made her final attack in the last kilometre. The others caught up to her wheel soon and the sprint ensued. Balsamo set up the sprint, but it was Winder and Vollering who hopped over. Millimetres decided on the winner of De Brabantse Pijl 2021. Vollering started cheering but it was the American champion Winder who ended up crossing the line first, ahead of Vollering and Balsamo.
Picture: © Photonews