D’hoore takes her first victory for Mitchelton-SCOTT in the inaugural women’s Driedaagse de PanneThu 22 Mar 2018
Belgium champion Jolien D'hoore took her first ever victory for Mitchelton-SCOTT in the inaugural edition of the women’s Driedaagse de Panne.
Today's sprint victory is the team’s first WorldTour and European victory of the season, kick starting the busy classics period in Belgium.
Elvin animates the race
After a busy start to the 151kilometre race, with many crashes and splits in the bunch, Gracie Elvin made it into the day’s main breakaway as 15riders escaped from the peloton within the first 20kilometres.
With a group comprising of many different teams they were quickly able to open up a two minute advantage over the bunch.
Late solo leaders
The breakaway group continued to hover just 30seconds ahead of the peloton for the majority of the day battling with wind and rain.
As the finish line came closer, Mieke Kroger (Team Virtu) attacked away from the breakaway group and Elvin decided to take her chances also with a counter attack as it looked more and more like breakaway would soon be caught.
The former Australian champion worked hard to chase down the solo leader with just seven kilometres remaining. Unable to make up the distance, Elvin continued to push on ahead of the regrouped peloton, only to be swallowed up with one and a half kilometres remaining.
Final hectic sprint
With wind, rain and narrow roads, it was a typical tough Belgian race with two techincal, challenging finishing laps. Tram lines in the final kilometres saw riders crash and jostled for position, making it a chaotic final sprint.
With Elvin ahead, Mitchelton-SCOTT were able to sit back a little and prepare D’hoore to take her chance if it all came back together.
Once the solo leader Kroger was caught, the Belgian 'bullet' battled hard, neck and neck with Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) and was finally able to take a home victory and an important one for the team.
Jolien D’hoore - 1st Place
"It was a very nervous race. I was not sure if we were going to catch the front riders so I just focused on the sprint, even if it was for the seventh or eighth place, that didn’t matter. When we were sprinting I didn’t know if it was for the first place or not.”
"There was a lot of wind today and that occasionally caused splits. It is the first time that we can start here in this race, so it was a new course for everyone and in the end no team really took matters into their own hands. That made it very chaotic, especially the last corner.”
"I already knew that my condition was very good, but I had little luck in the past races. So today and for Sunday (Gent-Wevelgem) I would like to continue this."
Driedaagse de Panne results:
1. Jolien D’hoore (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 3:52:23
2. Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cipollini) ST
3. Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans) ST
Photo courtesy of Getty Images