Lisa Brennauer powered her way to 8th place at the Tour of Flanders.
The pinnacle of the spring classics, ‘De Ronde’ lived up to it’s expectations, with a hard, grippy, race of attrition.
The 159km race started in the picturesque city of Oudenaarde, taking on ten climbs, three of which were cobbled climbs along with four flat cobble sections, including the famous Muur, Oude-Kwaremont and the Paterberg.
Brennauer was joined by Sarah Rijkes, Erica Magnaldi, Lara Vieceli, Ane Santesteban and Kirsten Wild who’d already take two victories in the previous UCI Women’s World Tour races.
The team were prominent in the front group throughout the race, but the race was set alight as attacks started going in the last 40km. Speaking after her great result, having won the reduced bunch sprint for 8th, Lisa Brennauer said:
“The race was pretty hectic and nervous, so it wasn’t easy to stay well positioned all the time. We worked strong together as a team, and I got lots of help to stay at the front of the bunch. I didn’t have the legs anymore to go with the big final attack after I had been following some major ones just before it, but I fought until the end and took 8th place.”
Speaking with Austrian Champion, Sarah Rijkes at the finish:
“It was hard, it was really hectic throughout the whole race. There was a lot of crashes, everybody wanted to go to the front all the time, and Flanders really deserves its name, it’s one of the hardest races on the calendar, I think. At the finish line I was dead, I felt I had no oxygen anymore in my brain, I couldn’t keep going for one more metre. I gave it my all. We really worked hard together, we tried to stay together in the race, and especially be in front in the decisive points which worked out quite well, and with Lisa getting 8th it’s a good result at this hard race.”
Ane Santesteban having finished her fourth Tour of Flanders:
“It was really hard, but as I’ve said before, it is a special race. For me on the Oude-Kwaremont I was almost crying because I love the fans and I saw a lot of Basque fans shouting my name, it was really incredible. I crashed with 40km to go, and I had pain in the knee, but I came back to the bunch, I could help my team mates, so it worked out well in the last part of the race. The team rode very well together, super good team work, and a good job with Lisa getting 8th it’s a great result.”
8th Lisa Brennauer
28th Erica Magnaldi
45th Kirsten Wild
56th Sarah Rijkes
57th Lara Vieceli
58th Ane Santesteban
The team will now travel to the Netherlands to race the five-day stage race, Healthy Ageing Tour.