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Jolien D’hoore second in Lotto Belgium Tour Stage One Breakaway Sprint

Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore has followed up her Prologue victory in the 2017 Lotto Belgium Tour with second place in the opening road stage, in Meerbeke, Ninove, on the former finishing straight of the Tour of Flanders. Wearing the Gold Jersey of race leader, the Belgian Champion was beaten only by former World and Olympic Champion Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling), who had taken second in the opening Prologue, at the head of a 13-rider group that pulled clear of the peloton in the closing kilometres.

Coryn Rivera (United States) finished third in a repeat of her own Prologue performance.

“It was close, but I think the strongest rider has won today, so fair enough,” D’hoore conceded.

“It was quite a nervous race and you had to be at the front the whole time, but the team was up there the whole time,” she added. “They were really good at positioning, and they kept me in front.”

On the cobbles of Veldstraat, with around 40km to go, D’hoore increased the pace and pulled an eleven rider group clear, which also included Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s former two-time road World Champion Giorgia Bronzini. They quickly caught the remaining two riders of an early breakaway and the winning move was formed.

Bronzini was involved in a late escape with Megan Guarnier (United States) and Vos’ teammate Anouska Koster, but the three riders were caught just before the final kilometre.

“We had two main cobbled sections, and the second time on the cobbles to first group went, so we were away,” D’hoore explained. “We had me and Gio in it, and we still had like 35km to go then.

“They played the game a bit, because there were four riders of WM3 and four riders of USA, so me and Gio had to chase and play the game. But we did really well together; Gio was up there with two other riders until 2km to go, and then we got them back and it was a sprint.”

Time bonuses on the line meant that Vos took over the race lead, but D’hoore will start stage two in the Black Jersey of Best Belgian Rider.

“Tomorrow is supposed to be the easiest stage of the race,” D’hoore said. “It’s flattish, but you never know, a breakaway can still go. Racing in Belgium you always need to be focussed and aggressive, and you always have to ride in front.

“So yeah, we go again for a stage win tomorrow. We’ll try again.”

Result
1. Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling)

2. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Coryn Rivera (United States)

Photo Credit: Anton Vos

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