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Jolien D'Hoore takes sprint win at Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde

D'Hoore takes impressive sprint as peloton leave it late to catch the break

Joe Robinson
22 Mar 2018

Belgian National Champion Jolien D'Hoore (Mitchelton-Scott) took a comprehensive sprint win at the Driedaagse De-Panne Koksijde. D'Hoore managed to surge clear of Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) in second and Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) in third.

Mieke Kroger (Team Virtu) was caught within the last kilometre causing heartbreak for the German who had been in the day's breakaway. Kroger had managed to keep the charging bunch at bay after going clear solo with 12km remaining.

How the day unfolded

The rather confusingly named Three days of De Panne is in fact a one-day Classic from the Belgian city of Bruges to the coastal town of De Panne. 

Today's course saw the women's peloton tackle 151.7km on a largely flat yet wind-battered route that took on large exposed roads subject to crosswinds.

Thanks to bad weather, the beginning of the race was lively with a strong group escaping from the peloton, quickly establishing a gap. Majerus headlined the group of 13 that originally got clear.

The gap persistently varied between 1 minute 45 seconds and 1 minute 15 with the peloton seemingly in control of affairs. 

The majority of work in the main group was left to Team Sunweb who were unable to get a rider into the large breakaway. This saw the powerful Ellen van Dijk do most of the day's chasing in aid of team leader Coryn Rivera. 

Poor weather and tired legs saw the main peloton split by van Dijk temporarily yet the group reformed with 61km left to go.

With less than 60km remaining, the lead group began to work well together managing to fend off the chase of Team Sunweb and Lotto-Soudal behind. 

Majerus then fell foul of an unfortunate puncture and although her team car managed to change the wheel, the Dutchwoman decided to sit up and rejoin the peloton which was failing in its job of bringing back the break. 

As the pace intensified in the main bunch, the peloton fragmented into pieces with crosswinds reeking havoc. Team Sunweb continued to drive the pace with Mitchelton-Scott and Boels-Dolmans offering assistance. 

With the lack of commentary provided on rthe live television coverage it became increasingly difficult to see which group of riders had made the lead groups, although it was clear that the break's lead was beginning to tumble fast.

With the riders racing into Koksijde, the wet conditions mixed with the slippery tram tracks caused issues with multiple riders hitting the tarmac. 

The race leaders began to shed numbers as the kilometres ticked by with Brit Abi Van Twisk going out of the rear although the break's overall lead shot back up from 30 seconds to one minute. 

With 19km left on the ticker the breakaway had been whittled down to eight riders as the race navigated the circuit around Koksijde although through sheer determination managed to keep the gap to 44 seconds over the peloton.

With 16km left the peloton had managed to reduce the gap to 26 seconds with Ale-Cippolini forcing the pace. The chase was then made that bit easier and with 12km left as the peloton had the break in sight.

As a last roll of the dice, Kroger attacked her breakaway companions, gaining a sizeable gap almost immediately of 15 seconds. The break was eventually swept up by the bunch although Kroger had built her lead to 32 seconds.

Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde top 10

1- Jolien D'hoore (BEL) Mitchelton-Scott
2- Chloe Hosking (AUS) Ale-Sipollini
3- Christine Majerus (LUX) Boels-Dolmans
4- Lorena Wiebes (NED) Parkhotel Valkenburg 
5- Lisa Brennauer (GER) Wiggle-High5
6- Maria Confalonieri (ITA) Valcar PRM
7- Sheyla Gutierrez (ESP) Cylance Pro Cycling
8- Jeanne Korevaar (NED) WaowDeals Pro Cycling
9- Tiffany Cromwell (AUS) Canyon-Sram
10- Christina Siggaard (DEN) Team Virtu