Sarah Roy gets amongst the sprinters despite a crash at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne

Thu 28 Mar 2019

It was a hectic day at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne as Australian Sarah Roy was forced to settle for a place outside the top 20 in the sprint finale.

The 33-year-old was caught up in a crash with around 40km but did well to get back into position after strong work from her Mitchelton-SCOTT teammates to tee her up for the finale.

High Pace

It was a fast opening half of the race with numerous attackers trying to forge clear before being shut down by the charging peloton behind.

With a lack of wind on the course, it was proving difficult for moves to stick until the race headed onto narrower roads and the bunch split. Despite the efforts of several teams to force the issue, the two groups came back together.

As the race approached the finishing circuits several riders tried their luck once more, but the peloton quickly sprung into action to close the moves down time after time.

Tricky Finish

Misfortune struck Roy when she was caught up in a crash with 38 kilometres to go as the peloton raced into narrow De Panne streets.

The technical finishing loop presented an opportunity for attacks and several moves briefly went clear but were brought back again as a sprint finish was looking more and more likely.

Inside the closing kilometres Mitchelton-SCOTT moved to the head of the pack to set a strong pace with positioning key in the tricky run to the line. Roy was to the fore as the sprint opened up but found herself boxed in and was forced to settle for 23rd as Kirsten Wild (WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling) took the win.

Sarah Roy:
“I’m feeling fine after my crash. There was a lot of road furniture in those windy streets and gutters with dodgy lips. I think a rider flipped in front of me, I just banged my knee and didn’t need a bike change or anything, but I was without a radio after that.”

“We were hoping for some more wind out there to create a smaller group, especially to set Gracie up for an aggressive race. Without the wind we decided to go all in for a sprint and the whole team were awesome looking after me and covering moves.”

“Coming into the final Jess set us up perfectly and Moniek and Spratty took over until about a kilometre to go where Gracie and I were together but unfortunately got pushed back a bit as the bunch swelled."

“I found a good wheel into the last corner but ended up being almost a standing start out of there and I didn’t have a good sprint.”

Martin Vestby (Sports Director):
“The girls rode really well but we had hoped for a bit more wind so we could make the race a bit harder and try and get rid of some of the sprinters.”

“But unfortunately there was no wind today and no real chances to make the difference out there.”

“The girls rode well though, they were all there in the final and they has some good communication together so that was a positive from today.”

Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne Results:
1. Kirsten Wild (WNT-Rotor Pro Cycling) 3:13:07
2. Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) ST
23. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST

Photo courtesy of Getty Images.