Anniek van Vleuten says the standard of women's cycling is improving after sealing a stunning victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege.
With 14km to go, Van Vleuten made her move and attacked Australia’s Grace Brown (WorldTeam FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope), first reaching and then pulling away to go on her own.
Despite the formidable ability within the chasing pack, Van Vleuten maintained her distance and in the final stretches the 39-year-old started to slowly increase the time gap before crossing the line in first place.
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For the Dutchwoman victory at Liege-Bastogne-Liege ended a spring dominated by second placed finishes and was delighted with her own performance.
"Winning has become harder in women's cycling," Van Vleuten said after the race.
"There are more contenders. I know that I'm better than ever in the sprint but that doesn't always give you the win. To have the confidence today and then when it works out it's the best.
"You need to also have some guts to go out from the bottom and have the confidence that I can drop them. But it's hard and to still take the victory is amazing.
"I couldn't believe until the finish line. I knew already this morning that it would be hard for a solo breakaway because if they start to chase they have the advantage with the wind in front.
"If they started to work together I knew they would catch me so I had one option and that was arrow time-trial mode and go and give everything."
Van Vleuten says she will now take a break before focusing on her "big goal": Le Tour de France.
She added: "I'm going to enjoy two weeks at home to enjoy this one and also my spring campaign and with most of the team because we were going to ride every race better which is super good to see.
"The whole team takes confidence goes up and the Le Tour de France is my big goal."
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