Elvin just misses out on the top ten in an attack filled Gent-Wevelgem

Sun 26 Mar 2017

ORICA-SCOTT women came close in the sixth edition of Gent-Wevelgem today with Australian Gracie Elvin finishing in 11th place after an attacked filled finale ended up in a bunch sprint for the line.

A long race at 146kilometres saw the field stick together for the first half before splitting on the first ascent of the Monteberg with Elvin and teammates Katrin Garfoot and Annemiek van Vleuten all making it into the front group.

The group stayed away as attack after attack animated the finale before a compact group shaped up to contest the sprint with Lotta Lepsito (Cervelo-Bigla) taking the win and Elvin close behind in 11th.

“The conditions we anticipated didn’t really present themselves today,” said Sport director Gene Bates. “And that meant that the girls had to work really hard to create the right situation. Amanda Spratt rode hard the second time over the Kemmelberg and we saw some splits before Kat and Annemiek made the jump alongside Gracie.”

“We continued to attack into the finale, but we could see with ten kilometres remaining that it was going to come down to a bunch sprint and we set ourselves to back Gracie.

“The sprinters teams rode a tactical race and ideally we would have preferred a harder race with a climb closer to the finish to suit our characteristics, but nevertheless we gave it our best shot in the finale.

“We can take positives from today, the girls are in great condition and the moral within the team is high. Everyone is working well together and hopefully we can carry our good form into Flanders next week.”

How it happened:

Brilliant sunshine welcomed the riders to the start of the sixth women’s Gent-Wevelgem this morning for the longest edition to date at 146kilometres.

A cagey race unfolded and despite numerous attempts the peloton was still intact after 75kilometres of racing.

Splits started to form the first time over the Monteberg climb, with a large group accelerating off the front to create two large groups with a gap of around 20seconds.

Elvin, Garfoot and van Vleuten all made it into the front group as the splits became more defined over the final ascents of the Kemmelberg and the Monteberg and into the flat, windy 40kilometre run to the finish.

Attacks soon started to fly with van Vleuten having a dig with 30kilometres to go with several riders wanting to follow before the group came back together again.

An exciting finale ensued with attacks galore and Garfoot next in line for ORICA-SCOTT, part of a four rider move with a small gap and only 15kilometres remaining.

Yet again the race came back together and lined out for the bunch sprint with Lepisto taking the win and Elvin finishing just outside the top ten in 11th for ORICA-SCOTT.

Gent-Wevelgem results:

1. Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) 03:53:54

2. Jolien d’Hoore (Wiggle-High5) ST

3. Coryn Rivera (Team-Sunweb) ST

11. Gracie Elvin (ORICA-SCOTT) ST

Photos courtesy of ©