Elvin sprints to second place for ORICA-SCOTT at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Wed 22 Mar 2017

ORICA-SCOTT impressed in their first appearance at Dwars door Vlaanderen today as Australian Gracie Elvin sprinted to a superb second place in a fast and windy race.

The races winning move came on the iconic Oude Kwaremont with an elite group of sixteen riders going clear that included Elvin and Annemiek van Vleuten for ORICA-SCOTT.

Developing a lead of over a minute it became clear that the winner would come from this selection and as the race hit the closing kilometres it was van Vleuten who initiated the first attacks before the group came back together for the sprint.

Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) eventually claimed the victory with Elvin sprinting well to take a very close second place after great work from van Vleuten.

“It was a great result for Gracie and the team,” said Sport director Gene Bates. “She has really been working hard all winter towards this series of races and today that work paid off and went some way to solidifying her preparation.”

“It was a hard race with a strong headwind at the beginning and we knew the attacks were likely to come on the kwaremonte and the Paterberg. The plan was to be attentive and have as many riders up there as possible when the selection formed.

“The girls did really well, we were slightly outnumbered in the end, but Annemiek and Gracie raced hard and aggressively alongside the leaders with Annemiek doing a great job to help Gracie in the sprint.

“It was a really close finish and the result bodes well for the next series of races here in Belgium. I am really pleased with how the team performed today and we can take confidence going forward into the spring.”

How it happened:

A fast start to the race unfolded under dry yet windy conditions in Tielt this lunchtime, with attack after attack attempting to break free throughout the first hour of racing.

The pace remained high and remarkably the race was still together half an hour later, finally a trio of riders went clear, holding a slim lead of 35seconds at the halfway point.

The move didn’t last long with an elite group of 21 riders going clear on the cobbled slopes of the Oude Kawremont, the group included Van Vleuten and Elvin for ORICA-SCOTT with a developing lead of 20seconds.

With the gap standing at one-minute 20seconds and less than 10kilometres to go van Vleuten instigated an attack off the front as the race really came life, but was brought back moments later.

Into the final couple of kilometres with the sprint finish looking inevitable, Lepisto was the first to go with van Vleuten doing a geat job to lead Elvin into the chase as a frantic sprint unfolded with Elvin just pipped into second place by the Cervelo-Bigla rider.

Dwars door Vlaanderen results:

1. Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) 02:55:40

2. Gracie Elvin (ORICA-SCOTT) ST

3. Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-Sram) ST

Photos courtesy of ©