Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) held off the late challenge of Marianne Vos (Jumbo Visma) in a bunch sprint to win the women’s race at Gent-Wevelgem.
Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ceratizit-WNT) came through in third to complete the podium.
It was Balsamo’s third win in a row having triumphed in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda and Classic Brugge-De Panne earlier in the month.
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Victory sees her considered among the favourites for the upcoming Tour of Flanders.
Much of the work for Trek-Segafredo was done by Ellen van Dijk who would ensure nobody would get away, keeping the race together for Balsamo.
Van Dijk was also part of the chase to reel in Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) when the Australian threatened to get clear with 3km to go.
Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx) found herself in contention in the sprint but Balsamo proved the fastest off the wheel of the Belgian to seal a hat-trick of WorldTour wins in eight days.
"I am very happy, today I won my favourite race and so a dream come true, I am very, very happy," said a delighted Balsamo following her victory.
"It was a very hard race and also in the last kilometre there were a lot of attacks and my team was perfect, they closed every attack and they did a great job so we decided go for a sprint."
"Ellen (van Dijk) and also Elisa (Longo Borghini) and Shirin (van Anrooij) they were so, so strong. I really want to say thank you to them and all the team.
“As I said, this is my favourite race and so it's a dream, I'm really happy. "

'A dream come true' - Balsamo after winning 'favourite race' at Gent-Wevelgem

Gent-Wevelgem women Top 10

  • 1. Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo)
  • 2. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma)
  • 3. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ceratizit-WNT)
  • 4. Lotte Kopecky (Team SD Worx)
  • 5. Emma Norsgaard (Team Movistar)
  • 6. Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ)
  • 7. Susanne Andersen (Uno-X)
  • 8. Tamara Dronova (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad)
  • 9. Silvia Persico (Valcar Travel & Service)
  • 10. Clara Copponi (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)
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