Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
French champion from Movistar Team fights into crowded sprint behind solo winner Blaak (DLT); Spaniards DNF after falling down in slippery turn halfway through opening race of Belgian season.
It was a day of contrasts for the Movistar Team at the opening Flemish race of the 2019 season. At the 14th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad -123km with ten steep, little climbs and plenty of cobblestones from Ghent to Ninove / Meerbeke-, the squad directed by Jorge Sanz entered the final top-ten of the race, even if the Blues were soon down to four riders as Gloria Rodríguez and Sheyla Gutiérrez crashed well before the final selection.
The two Spaniards fell down at the very same spot, a quick descent en route to the second cobblestone sector (Ruiterstraat), 68km before the end. Despite both getting back on their feet, the blows to their left sides -neither of them has serious injuries- advised both to not remain in the first race of a very long classics schedule for the Spanish outfit. Alicia González also crashed during the race, yet was still able to cross the finish.
Ahead of the incident, the group of favourites still contained three more Blues: Malgorzata Jasinska, Roxane Fournier and a strong Aude Biannic, who got over both the Kapelmuur and the Bosberg within the top 20 and still contended the sprint for second place, behind solo winner Chantal Blaak (DLT). A 7th place was the prize for the French champion, top performer for a Movistar Team which will resume racing at Sunday’s Omloop van het Hageland.
Pictures (c): Sean Robinson / Vélofocus
- 01 Chantal Blaak Boels-Dolmans 3h20'58"
- 02 Marta Bastianelli Team Virtu +1'09"
- 03 Jip Van den Bos Boels-Dolmans "
- 07 Aude Biannic Movistar Team "
- 32 Roxane Fournier Movistar Team +1'25"
- 39 Małgorzata Jasińska Movistar Team +1'31"
- 85 Alicia González Movistar Team +13'03"
- — Gloria Rodríguez Movistar Team DNF
- — Sheyla Gutiérrez Movistar Team DNF