Race report

Aggressive ride from Team Sunweb rewarded with a top 10 for Floortje Mackaij

Omloop Het Nieuwsblad

 

 

The Belgian cobbled classics began this afternoon with a very aggressive race in Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Despite a small breakaway group forming early on, the whole race was back together with eighty kilometres left and from there it became a day of attrition. Lucinda Brand, Janneke Ensing and Floortje Mackaij were always attentive at the front of the bunch and featured heavily throughout the day. Brand made numerous attacks but none of them were given any leeway by the opposition teams.

Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans said at the finish: “We weren’t the luckiest team today with the crashes but other teams were definitely worse off. Once things were back together at the halfway mark we were attentive and in every move off the front of the peloton, so I’m very pleased with the way we raced.”

With a charge up the famous Muur van Geraardsbergen, Mackaij made it over the top in an elite group of eight. However, Blaak (Boels) attacked over the top of the group once onto the flat and with the remaining riders slow to co-operate the chance of taking the win was gone.

Floortje Mackaij was pleased with her form: “I felt I had a good day and stayed calm throughout the race. The girls worked well to position me coming on to the Muur and I managed to follow the best there. When Blaak went I was on my limit and was one second too slow to react. Overall though I’m very satisfied with my race”

The pace in the group fighting for second slowed down enough that a larger group came back from behind to make it a much larger sprint to the line. Mackaij proved that she still had good legs though; sprinting to tenth place on the day.