Today’s podium

  • 1 Chantal van den Broek-Blaak
  • 2 Amy Pieters
  • 3 Lotte Kopecky
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What a day for Boels-Dolmans!

Amy Pieters wins the sprint for second and Anna van der Breggen celebrates behind.

Final metres for van den Broek-Blaak!

What a ride. Big celebration for Chantal van den Broek-Blaak!

Fight for second.

They don’t want to wait for Kopecky to win the sprint for second.

Flamme Rouge!

She can start planning her celebration with over a minute in hand!

2km to go - home straight

Van den Broek-Blaak has a gap of 1’10”.

Exhausting to watch

It’s attack after attack after attack from Annemiek van Vleuten and Grace Brown. Boels-Dolmans close them down every...single...time.

4km to go - gap keeps growing

Van den Broek-Blaak’s gap is over 50 seconds as attacks continue in the chase behind. It’s Mitchelton-Scott against the world. Meanwhile, Lotte Kopecky is hovering around the back of the group, content to wait for the sprint for podium places.

5.5km to go - AvV goes again

They keep attacking each other but the gap keeps growing.

Boels-Dolmans are playing a blinder!

Textbook stuff from Boels-Dolmans, with one rider out front and two marking their rivals behind. Van den Broek-Blaak has 35” now. It’s looking good.

7.5km to go

Grace Brown is next to attack but Amy Pieters sits on her wheel.

Attack from the back!

Annemiek van Vleuten flies from the very back of the group but it comes to nothing.

8km to go

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak has about 20” over the chasers.

Dilemma in the chase

There are two Mitchelton-Scott riders in there and plenty of other pre-race favourites, but Lotte Kopecky is a problem for all of them. No one wants to sprint against the Belgian national champion and Boels-Dolmans refuse to work with their teammate going solo.

10km to go - good gap?

Our leader seems to have a good advantage but can she stay away?

11km to go - hard chase

Poor Grace Brown can no longer race incognito. She accelerates but they’re not going to let her go.

The climbing is over

And breathe. Van den Broek-Blaak is still all alone.

Cecilie Uttrup-Ludwig doesn’t want to wait any longer. She accelerates over the top of van der Breggen.

14km - oof, that’s steep!

Longo-Borgini (Trek-Segafredo) comes to the front

15km to go!

Van den Broek-Blaak is first to hit the Paterberg. About ten seconds later, van Vleuten leads the chasing group onto the cobbles before going off-road slightly, but the European champion stays upright.

17km to go - back on tarmac

Van den Broek-Blaak is still leading the way as the race heads for the Paterberg. Ten big names are chasing hard. Or rather, they’re making Annemiek van Vleuten chase hard, all on her own. She’s marked by two Boels-Dolmans riders.

Attack!

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak is not hanging about!

Demi Vollering is trying to close the gap, next in line are van Vleuten, Brennauer and van der Breggen… Lotte Kopecky and Grace Brown are still there.

18km to go - fierce fight

Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-Scott) is next to lose the wheel, but the group is staying together pretty well on the climb.

19km to go - Oude Kwaremont

Lisa Brennauer on the front as they hit the cobbles as Jolien D’Hoore (Boels-Dolmans) drops off the back.

21km to go - lots of big names

Van der Breggen takes to the front again as everyone takes a breath.

Still here: Van der Breggen, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak, Annemiek van Vleuten, Grace Brown, Cecilie Uttrup-Ludwig, Amy Pieters, Demi Vollering, Floortje Mackaij, Elisa Longo Borgini, Lotte Kopecky, Lauren Stephens, Lisa Brennauer...

Brown tries a Grace Brown.

Grace Brown tried to take advantage of a bit of a stall by attacking from the back but she was closed down pretty quick. Time for a gel...

24km to go - back together

Lotte Kopecky, in the Belgian national champion’s jersey, comes to the front of what looks like a cumbersome group.

Bit odd…

The two champions have neutralised each other and waited for the group behind.

Stalemate!

They’re looking at each other. Anna van der Breggen won’t come through and they’re not talking! They’re smiling though...

25km to - contact made

2020 World Champion catches 2019 World Champion!

26km to go - gap closing slowly

Anna van der Breggen seems to be closing in on her compatriot. The small group behind has a bit more work to do.

27km to go - Van Vleuten comes out of hiding!

Annemiek van Vleuten accelerates hard and they’re struggling to hold onto her coattails…

Catch coming

An elite group is bearing down on the two leaders.

28km to go - attack!

Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) attacks over the top of the climb, forcing a selection.

29km to go - more cobbles

The leaders are onto the Oudestraat with 42 seconds over the peloton.

Hiding in plain sight

There are lots of special jerseys in the peloton, including the World Champion Anna van der Breggen, Women’s WorldTour leader Lizzie Deignan, German national champ, Lisa Brennauer, and, particularly well hidden so far, Annemiek van Vleuten in the stars and blue stripes of European champion.

34km to go - small gap

Two leaders have a 30 second gap as Rivera accelerates, stringing out the peloton and catching Franz who drops straight through the group and out the back. It’s been a big day out for the debutante.

Franz isn’t done....

Rally Cycling’s Heidi Franz, from the earlier breakaway, is chasing the attackers.

36km to go - Two off the front

Riejanne Markus (CCC-Liv) and Alena Amialiusuk (Canyon SRAM) are our leaders.

37km to go - Van der Breggen back in control

Boels-Dolmans are on the front again. Just as CCC-Liv goes on the attack...

39km to go - Vollering looking good

The on-form Demi Vollering is really pushing it at the front of the peloton.

40km to go - Taaienberg!

The breakaway are swallowed up as Sunweb takes to the front on the cobbled climb.

45km to go - World Champion driving the pace

Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) has come to the front to lift the pace as the gradient increases, dropping riders off the back.

Demi Vollering (Parkhotel-Valkenberg), Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv) and Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT) are attentive towards the pointy end of the peloton.

49km to go - beware bollards!

Crash in the feedzone!

A Movistar rider takes out a Parkhotel-Valkenberg staffer as Franziska Koch (Sunweb) hits a green bollard very hard.

50km - it looks chilly…

The five riders up the road have 1’27” over the peloton as rain starts to fall.

51km to go - chasers caught

Sunweb have shown their intent but the peloton is having none of it, for now...

'I LOVE this race!': Ceclie Uttrup Ludvig excited to ride Tour of Flanders and expecting hard racing

61km to go - Lippert gets company

Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) and Lisa Faulkner (Tibco-SVB) join Lippert in the chase with the peloton not far behind. It’s an intriguing move for Sunweb, chasing hard with previous winner Rivera.

64km to go - Lippert launches

Brennauer and Jackson are back in the peloton and the gap is down to 1’40” as Liane Lipppert (Sunweb) has a dig off the front.

'The more aggressive the better' - Deignan hopeful of hard racing in Tour of Flanders

81km to go - counter-attack!

Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit-WNT) and Alison Jackson (Sunweb) have attacked from the peloton. They’re a dangerous duo...

Earlier in the race…

A crash brought down several riders in the neutral zone, but only technical assistance was required before the flag dropped.

A group of seven got up the road early - Teuntje Beekhuis (Lotto Soudal), Gloria Rodriguez Sanchez (Movistar), Alice Sharpe (Ciclotel), Mieke Kroeger (Hitec Products), Heidi Franz (Rally Cycling), Ariadna Trias (Massi Tactic) and Emily Newsom (Tibco-SVB). The pace was high and the terrain tricky so the break was down to five (without Sharpe and Trias) by the first climb of the Katteberg, with a gap of around 3 minutes.

Van Vleuten recharged and ready to attack at Tour of Flanders despite still having fractured wrist

A few non-starters

The race got going without defending champion Marta Bastianelli, whose team was one of four to pull out. Ale BTC Ljubljana didn’t race last weekend’s Gent-Wevelgem due to a positive COVID-19 test, forcing the squad into quarantine, and both the Astana Women’s Team and Chevalmiere have also withdrawn with virus concerns. Equipe Paule Ka did not line up after the devastating news that the team will fold due to lack of sponsor payments.

Another key non-starter is Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv), giving the reason that she’s not feeling 100%.

Good afternoon!

Welcome to the live blog for the cobbletastic women’s Tour of Flanders!

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