Ellen van Dijk, Team Sunweb’s Time Trial specialist, raced to her second victory this season at the mid-week semi-classic Dwars door Vlaanderen. After a breakaway from the lead group with seven kilometers to go, van Dijk crossed the rainy finish line solo, followed by teammate Floortje Mackaij in third.
“Today was a great race for the team,” said van Dijk. “ Today was really a textbook race, and we did everything that we had planned to.”
The race, sandwiched on the calendar between Gent-Wevelgem and the upcoming Tour of Flanders on April 1, consisted of 117.9km of mixed terrain including notable climbs and cobbled roads. With its proximity to Tour of Flanders, Team Sunweb used the opportunity as a proving ground for riders – one the women were able to capitalize on.
From the start of the race, the Team Sunweb women were able to work together aboard their Liv Langma Advanced SL team bikes to drive the pace and execute the team’s plan. When Mackaij and van Dijk positioned themselves in the late seven-rider breakaway, the pair launched attack after attack, exhausting their competition and opening the door for van Dijk to make one final attack that would stick. Mackaij’s efforts were rewarded when she sprinted to third place out of the chasing riders.
“We attacked time and time again in the final 15 kilometres and in the end no one could follow. It shows how strong the team is before Flanders and we are also ready to go for a fantastic result in that race as well,” said Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans.
Tour of Flanders will take place on Sunday, April 1.