Annemiek van Vleuten stormed to victory at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on Saturday in a display of phenomenal endurance.
The Movistar rider finished the 2021 season with a broken shoulder and a double-pelvis fracture after crashing out of Paris-Roubaix.
But she showed no signs of rustiness in her first one-day race of 2022 as she battered away competition from compatriot Demi Vollering to take a commanding win.
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And on the Breakaway, Adam Blythe joked that she was so dominant she ended up as her own lead-out.
"She led herself out,” joked Adam Blythe after the race.
"She’s led herself out. She’s two in one.”
Indeed - despite Vollering refusing to get out from her slipstream - Van Vleuten failed to tire.
Vollering tried to save herself for the sprint but was gasping for air despite Van Vleuten carrying the SD Worx rider for 12 kilometres until only the two remained ahead of a two-up sprint finish.
And when the sprint came, Van Vleuten simply wouldn’t be beaten and crossed the finish line first.
And Daniel Lloyd wondered what more Vollering could have done up against the brilliant Van Vleuten.
"I guess there’s not much she could have done differently,” he said.
"In the finale there, slightly uphill, maybe she tried to come off Van Vleuten’s wheel a little too early.
"But given Van Vleuten had done a six or seven hundred metre sprint through two corners, she probably thought she’d get it easy!”
Van Vleuten, however, had other ideas.

‘Phenomenal’ - Van Vleuten displays incredible power to seal Omloop success

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