Top-ten for Elvin in Gooik-Geraardsbergen-GooikSun 28 May 2017
Gracie Elvin, a two-time winner of Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik sprinted to ninth place in this year’s edition of the one-day Belgium race.
The day concluded with a dangerous breakaway escaping within the final 15kilometres which Marianna Vos (WM3· Pro Cycling) bridged across to solo in the final moments and held on to take the victory.
ORICA-SCOTT fought hard all day long, chasing down a four-rider move that established after an ascent of the famous Muur-Kappelmuur. Having spent a lot of energy in bringing the race back together the team found themselves caught out when the final move of the race went.
Despite not making it a hat-trick of victories, sport director Martin Barras was happy with the team's effort and commitment.
“Essentially we missed out today,” Barras explained. “It is a race that is defined by the Muur and we entered the bottom of the climb well places but just didn’t quite make the selection over the top.”
“We used Georgia Baker early on to get us into position for the climb, as it is her first race in Europe and then we came out of the climb with four riders in the main chase group.”
The four-rider breakaway contained two Sunweb riders and with a few of the big named team’s missing out the chase was on to bring the race back together but with plenty of kilometres to spare.
“We didn’t panic as ourselves and Boels-Dolmans had both missed the move,” Barras continued. “We decided to control the gap over a reasonably long period of time and used Alex Manly for most of the chasing, then finally the break was brought back.”
“After this, at the crucial part of the race we were down to three riders and then Georgia Williams and Amanda Spratt really worked a lot and kept rolling into the moves.
“At the end of the day we were just a little bit short on what was required and we missed the final move. Gracie was just having one of those days today, sometimes you can ride yourself into the race but today she just wasn’t really.
"She still produced a top ten finish and it was certainly a tough race, and Vos was very impressive today and was a very deserving winner."
How it happened:
The riders assembled in Gooik ready for a tough 136kilometres day taking in many famous cobble climbs in Vlaanderen.
Within the first 40kilometres, two riders lead the race by one minute over two chasers, with one minute and 40seconds back to the bunch.
At the 70kilometre to go mark came the Muur-Kapellmuur which left room to hide and the peloton fragmented as the riders crested the top.
Four key riders, Vos, Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb), Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) and Elisa Longo-Borgini (Wiggle-High5) managed to get a gap and quickly bridged across to the original two escapees.
Soon after the two initial breakaway riders dropped off the pace leaving the quadruplet out front with a one minute advantage.
ORICA-SCOTT took on the chase with the help of Boels-Dolmans who also missed the move and the time gap soon decreased down to 35seconds with 50kilometres remaining and key climbs still to come.
Eventually the group was reeled back in and after many counter attacks, three other riders opened up a gap. As the kilometres ticked down Vos found a moment to launch quickly across to the group which was now down to two riders and managed to hold off the peloton and sprint to the victory.
Behind the reduced peloton battled it out for fifth place with Elvin crossing the line in ninth spot.
1. Marianna Vos (WM3· Pro Cycling)
2. Ellen van Dijk (Subweb)
3. Maria Julia Gonfalonieri (Lensworld-Kuota)
9. Gracie Elvin (ORICA-SCOTT)