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Jumbo-Visma victorious in Belgium
The Belgian beers will be flowing within the Jumbo-Visma team tonight with a clean sweep of today's racing with Wout Van Aert winning the men's race, and legend Marianne Vos in the women's, they deserve it.
Gent - Wevelgem
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Read the reports: Vos sprints to victory as Longo Borghini denied; Supreme Van Aert grabs beautiful win in dramatic finish
1. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma)
2. Lotte Kopecky (Liv-Racing)
3. Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit)
2. Lotte Kopecky (Liv-Racing)
3. Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit)
Marianne Vos wins!
Vos patient with her sprint, launches with around 200m to go, and nobody has enough left to catch her. A comfortable sprint finish for Vos and Jumbo-Visma.
The chase group make the most of the confusion and push on for the last 1km, catching Longo Borghini and Paladin at 500m to go.... the group sprints to the line and...
Or is it? The re-routing of the final 5km has confused everyone (including us journos). The banner on the road showing 3km to go, and the route has been extended by approx. one-and-a-half km further on. It's a guessing game, but we are almost there...
2km to go
Italians Longo Borghini and Paladin are working really well together here, though Longo Borghini seems to be doing the bulk of the work and looks the strongest by far (poker face?).
5km to go
Into the last 5km. The gap has come down to 15 seconds and the front two riders will be starting to think about the finish. The chase group need to get a move on if they want to have a last chance attack.
10km to go
On to the final 10km then. Last year's winner Jolien D'Hoore is nowhere near the front. Longo Borghini, who won the Italian classic Trofeo Alfredo Binda last weekend and Strade Bianche runner-up, is looking very strong, and Paladin is still with her at the head of the race, and at this point feels like an unknown quantity.
But a fierce chase is still on, the gap is at 24 seconds, and there is plenty of racing left to be had here...
14km to go
Correction, Anna Henderson has been caught. Longo Borghini and Paladin lead the race with 20 seconds on the chasing group.
Wind is picking up
A successful echelon has formed at the front of the race. The boss, Elisa Longo Borghini has ploughed on through, leaving the original chase group behind. Soraya Paladin of Liv-Racing has gone with her, but keeping up that pace into the wind looks like a huge struggle. 18 km to go.
23km to go
The group don't seem to want to chase Anna Henderson yet, she has extended her gap to 25 seconds. Henderson was optimistic about what she could do in this race when she spoke to my colleague Tom Owen this week.
The 22-year-old Brit said: "I really enjoy the classics in general, that's why I've chosen to base myself right in the heart of Flanders, I just really want to embrace the classics culture and grow and become really good in the classics. I think a race like Gent-Wevelgem or Nieuwsblad, things like that, Flanders one day I hope, is everybody's dream, isn't it?
"I think just in general the classics and some punchier climbs, not too hilly, but some smaller hills is good for me. I hope the team can do a really good job at the weekend and I think we're quite strong coming into it.”
Extending the gap 30km to go
Back on the straight (looks flat) roads, the front group of about 30 riders are pushing on to keep the pressure on and reduce any attacks from the chase group.
Aaaaaaaaand Anna Handerson of Jumbo-Visma has attacked! She has made a solo lunge and has about five seconds on the front group. Can she be caught?
Here we go. Longo Borghini, Ellen Van Dijk is pushing now, Marianne Vos stays with her in the front pack and the group have pulled away from the peloton.
37km to go: The Kemmelberg
We have reached the cobbles... Elisa Longo Borghini leads, with Amy Pieters and Marianne Vos up the Kemmelberg, and now the peloton has been split. The chase is on.
Canada's Alison Jackson of Liv-Racing has tumbled into the ditch. The bunch is spread out across the whole road running out of road to the left, a little touch of wheels launched her into the grass. She has climbed out and her team have rescued her with a new bike and she's on her way again.
Good to see Teniel Campbell on the front just now, but not so good to see a crash.
Moniek Tenniglo, Kirsten Wild, Chloe Hosking and Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado have gone down.
42km to go.
More bergs to come
Nobody is dropped after the Plugstreets. With 46km to go we still have the Monteberg (5% average gradient) and the Kemmelberg (15% gradient and cobbles) to come. Stay tuned.
The finish line has been moved today due to a fire at a nearby industrial estate, the race has been extended by about one-and-a-half kilometres.
Bergs, bergs, burn. 54km to go now and we are well into the seven main climbs of the day. The riders are beginning to spread out a little as the race winds around these sharp country roads (Plugstreets section) which look punchy. It's windy, and dusty, but at least it's not raining.
SD Worx' Jolien D'Hoore, who is riding on her home roads of Gent, could join Kirsten Wild as a two-time winner today if she defends her victory from last year. I say last year... it was October for the 'autumn classics' which feels like only five minutes ago. The spring classics have come around quick this time.
Kirsten Wild is the only rider to win Gent-Wevelgem twice (2013, 2019).
70km to go
What’s happened so far?
We are just over two hours into the 141km one-day Flanders classic. It’s windy and there’s been a number of attempts to form echelons. The riders have started to climb... attacks pending...
Trek Segafredo still riding
Trek-Segafredo and Bora-Hansgroghe were forced to withdraw from the men’s race due to positive COVID-19 cases, but the Trek-Segafredo women are still riding and one the race favourites Elisa Longo Borghini, who dons the purple Women’s World Tour leader’s jersey, is still within a strong chance of fighting for victory.
Welcome to the live coverage of the 10th edition of the women’s Gent-Wevelgem.
One race down as Wout Van Aert wins the 83rd men’s edition (recap what happened here, and read the report here), and one to go.
Follow along live here, or watch on Eurosport and GCN, as the TV coverage catches up with the riders from 15:45 BST (16:45 CEST).
(THE FIRST DAY OF BRITISH SUMMER TIME).
'I hope to have that in 10 years!' - Meet GB's Henderson, the classics specialist learning from Vos
Britain's Anna Henderson will be riding in support of Marianne Vos at Gent-Wevelgem - and Eurosport's cycling extraordinaire Tom Owen caught up with her ahead of the Belgian classic.
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Speaking to Anna Henderson about her journey so far, one gets the immediate sense of a patchwork of supporting forces, who have all helped steer the British 22-year-old on her path to becoming a professional bike racer, riding on a team that will – all things being equal – go WorldTour next season.
There was her first amateur team, Lovelo Cinelli, run out of a bike shop in Berkhamsted who still help her fix her bike today, despite the fact she is now racing on one of the best-funded, professional women’s cycling teams in the world.
Then there was Team OnForm, with whom she won the Tour Series in 2018; that was followed by a stagiaire stint on Team Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank that saw her thrown into the top level of bike racing on one of the sport’s longest-running teams (on either side of the gender divide).
She then spent the year lost to Covid-19 on the books of Team Sunweb with just 10 days of racing in the season, before finally making the move to newly-formed Jumbo-Visma.
Alongside racing, Henderson is also studying for an undergraduate degree at the University of Birmingham, and they too have provided her with much-needed support as she has established a career.
What is it like, after all that, to ride out on a Tour of Flanders recon ride for the first time as a teammate of the undisputed GOAT, Marianne Vos?
“She's just super calm, just super collected, and it's really inspiring racing with her because you know she has so much experience and you just know that she will always be there," Henderson told Eurosport.
"I’m looking forward to learning so much more off her, to be honest. You can see there’s just such a wealth of knowledge there and it’s like, ‘Wow, I hope to have that in ten years' time’.”
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How to watch the event
Gent-Wevelgem 2021 is live on Eurosport.
You can watch the race unfold on eurosport.co.uk and the Eurosport app. You can download the Eurosport app for iOS and Android now.
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