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La Flèche Wallonne Féminine: Van der Breggen makes it three in a row

Josh Cunningham
19 Apr 2017

Anna van der Breggen rides to a solo victory on the Mur de Huy

Image: Boels-Dolmans

Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) has won La Flèche Wallonne Féminine after a late solo attack. Her British teammate Lizzie Deignan finishes second, while Katarzyna Niewiadoma (WM3 Pro Cycling) rounded out the podium.

After winning both the 2015 and 2016 editions of the race, Van der Breggen's victory marks the third Fleche Wallonne title in a row for the Dutchwoman; a feat previously only achieved by Marianne Vos.

'Winning here for the third time in a row is really incredible,' said Van der Breggen after the race. 'We had a plan, with the team, and it worked to perfection. I was obviously a favourite this year and so I had to change tactics to surprise my opponents and attack earlier than in previous years. But it was even harder and I had to draw from my reserves to win. I’m in good shape and I have an incredible team so I think we have good chances this Sunday in Liège-Bastogne-Liège.'

After the day's early breakaway was reeled in as the peloton tackled the infamus Mur de Huy climb for the first time, the finale of the race was lit up in a series of dramatic attacks.

Marie Vilmann (Cervelo-Bigla) and Tetiana Riabchenko (Lensworld-Kuota) were the first counter-attacks, and inside the final 20km the duo had pulled out a lead of over 40 seconds.

Meanwhile the pace increased behind, and names such as Pauline Ferrand-Prevot and Megan Guarnier were dropped from the peloton as a result.

It took an attack from Niewiadoma on the Cote de Cherave to make contact with the leaders, and after Deignan and Van der Breggen followed, it did not take long for the newly-arrived trio to break away by themselves to contest the win.

Rather than wait for the steep slopes of the Mur de Huy though, Van der Breggen attacked her companions on the run in to the climb, finishing alone 16 seconds ahead of Deignan, who had jumped away from Niewiadoma on the climb.

Team Sunweb's Coryn Rivera finished 7th, and retains her position as leader of the Women's WorldTour.

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