Fourth place for Elena Cecchini in Omloop van het Hageland
The opening weekend is over. Team SD Worx hasn't won yet, but was at the forefront in both the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Omloop van het Hageland. In Tielt-Winge, Elena Cecchini sprinted to fourth place after another strong team performance. "Unfortunately I couldn't keep up with Marta Bastianelli," she said.
Just like in the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, Marlen Reusser opened the debates. When her breakaway was caught, she attacked again and a small leading group formed. Lotte Kopecky crossed the line and the gap grew to about 50 seconds.
But that attack was neutralised as well, after which a new leading group formed with about ten riders. Team SD Worx had a double presence with Chantal van de Broek-Blaak and Elena Cecchini. Emma Bjerg, Marta Bastianelli, Emma Norsgaard, Valerie Demey, Floortje Mackaij, Lorena Wiebes and van Anrooij, among others, had not missed the train.
The elite group survived the final double climb Kriekebergstraat and Roeselberg, after which Floortje Mackaij tried to get away. Van de Broek-Blaak closed the gap so Cecchini could sprint for the win. In the end it was Bastianelli who gave everyone the slip, Bjerg and Mackaij completed the podium. Cecchini finished a close fourth. "We rode a strong race and I would have liked to finish it off, so I'm disappointed," said the 29-year-old Italian. "But I also realise that the most important races for me are yet to come this season."
Next weekend is Bloeizone Fryslan (3-5 March) and of course the Strade Bianche (5 March), in which Chantal van de Broek-Blaak will want to defend her victory."