Gent-Wevelgem Ladies 2021 Preview – Rouleur


As a consequence of its flatter parcours, Gent-Wevelgem is often the traditional the place we’ll see a showdown between these with the quickest legs within the World Tour. Fortunately, sprinting expertise within the ladies’s peloton is at an all time excessive this season. 

That mentioned, with a collection of characteristically Belgian bergs to cope with, there’s a risk for the race to complete in a a lot smaller group – this can rely upon whether or not stronger groups resolve they need to cut up the race. Robust winds or difficult climate situations may additionally impression the variety of riders who will go on to contest the win. 

The final 4 editions have completed in a bunch dash and lots of riders will fancy their possibilities in a gallop to the road on the flat run-in to Wevelgem. In 2016, nevertheless, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak took a solo win, crossing the road over a minute forward of Lisa Brennauer in second place.

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To keep away from a repeat of Broek-Blaak’s win, sprinter’s groups might want to hold a watchful eye on sturdy breakaway specialists. their performances up to now this season, we all know that, ought to a niche open up between an SD Worx rider and the peloton, reeling them again in is usually a problem for the chasing bunch.

Whether or not we see a solo breakaway or a bunch kick, since its first version in 2012, Gent-Wevelgem has at all times proved to be an unpredictable and thrilling race within the ladies’s calendar.

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The Route

To encourage followers to observe the race from house, the official route of Gent-Wevelgem is not going to be printed till the night earlier than the race. 

Nevertheless, taking a look at earlier editions we will count on a comparatively flat begin to the race, the place it’s possible the peloton will let an early breakaway set up a lead. 

The climbs will start after round 60km of racing, these embody the Beneberg, the Monteberg and the Kemmelberg. We are able to count on to see the bunch whittled down throughout this part of the race, particularly since round 20km later the peloton will hit the ‘Plugstreets’.

Final yr’s ladies’s route

The ‘Plugstreets’ are a collection of three semi-paved sectors. Though not on the stage of problem of the gravel roads we’ve seen in Strade Bianche not too long ago, they may trigger crashes, splits or premature punctures for an unfortunate few.

The ultimate climb of the race would be the second ascent of the Kemmelberg.That is prone to be the place we’ll see any assaults from those that need to deliver a smaller group to the end. With a median gradient of 14%, this berg will definitely take a look at the legs after over 100km of racing.

Any group that does escape on the Kemmelberg should survive the lengthy, flat run-in to Wevelgem that follows, nevertheless.

The contenders

Compelled to overlook final yr’s version following a constructive covid-19 take a look at end result, Certazit WNT’s sturdy sprinter Kirsten Wild is a twice winner of this race. She will likely be again in 2021 to attempt to add one other win to her palmares and may have a very good probability of doing so – particularly with a powerful lead-out from her teammates reminiscent of Lisa Brennauer, who confirmed glorious kind within the Wholesome Ageing Tour just a few weeks in the past.

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After profitable Strade Bianche, dash groups should work onerous to forestall Broek-Blaak from taking one other win

Defending champion Jolien d’Hoore will likely be nicely supported by the SD Worx workforce, who’ve choices for each a bunch dash and a breakaway. Amy Pieters and Christine Majerus will each play essential workforce roles – be it in protecting any assaults or making strikes themselves.

Belgian champion Lotte Kopecky will hope to surf the lead-outs of larger groups and go one higher than her second place to d’Hoore in final yr’s version of the race. She is a rider who’s prone to make it over the steep slopes of the Kemmelberg and be capable of fiercely contest the ultimate dash.

Ale BTC Ljubljana’s Marta Bastianelli has had a quieter begin to the season, however she is nicely suited to the parcours of Gent-Wevelgem, profitable in 2018. Crew DSM sprinter Lorena Wiebes additionally has had a sluggish season opening, however seemed to be displaying nice kind earlier than her unlucky crash within the Wholesome Ageing Tour just a few weeks in the past. She will likely be hoping to safe her first huge results of 2021.

If Emma Norsgaard can proceed the shape she has proven not too long ago, she will likely be onerous to beat. She is but to complete exterior of the highest 11 in any races up to now this season and after a number of podium finishes, she will likely be gunning for the highest step on Sunday.

Trek Segafredo could hope to drop a few of these sprinters on the sooner climbs, nevertheless. Neither Lizzie Deignan or Elisa Longo Borghini are nicely suited to a mass end, however each can end strongly from a diminished group. Trek Segafredo’s sprinter Amalie Dideriksen will likely be their choice ought to a much bigger bunch come to the road.

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Exterior bets

Canyon Sram’s Alice Barnes confirmed her potential to dash among the many greatest in stage one of many Wholesome Ageing Tour, narrowly ending second to d’Hoore. She is but to safe an enormous end result within the WWT however seems to be within the kind to contend the end of Gent-Wevelgem, if every part goes proper for her on the day.

Valcar-Journey and Service deliver a workforce of Italian monitor stars and are nicely practiced in glorious lead-outs for the likes of Elisa Balsamo, winner of GP Oetingen.

We may also see Ciclismo Mundial on the startline, a brand new workforce shaped of cyclo-cross specialists together with Ceylin del Carmen Alvarado. While their prowess on the street is comparatively unknown, it’s secure to imagine that expertise of such excessive calibre will likely be simply transferable from the mud to the tarmac.

Jumbo Visma’s Anna Henderson is a younger rider who has had a collection of spectacular ends in her Belgian marketing campaign up to now this yr. Though she is going to most definitely be in a supporting position for Marianne Vos, she will likely be eager to take her personal probability, ought to the chance come up.

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