Cover and feature photo: Tim de Waele/TDWsport.com
Clear skies and sunshine welcomed the peloton as they rolled out Ronde van Vlaanderen, Oudenaarde. The route, the longest one yet, was a 153km assault course of cobblestones, leg-busting climbs and technical sections before heading back into Oudennarde for the finish.
There were a number of breakaway attempts throughout the course, but none could hold for long before being swallowed back up by the peloton. Rozanne Slik (Team Sunweb) distanced herself from the peloton over the Muur gaining a 90 second lead, but with 20km to go, she too was caught.
The Olympic road champion, Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans), launched an attack with the company of Niewiadoma, Longo Borghini and Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott). The four riders worked together to build up a strong lead advantage. Behind them, a chase group formed of Rivera and Van Dijk (Team Sunweb).
With just 300 metres to go, Rivera pulled off an incredible sprint to the finish line for the win. Having joined Team Sunweb at the start of the season, this is the second win for the US cyclist.
1 Coryn Rivera (USA) Team Sunweb Women
2 Gracie Elvin (Aus) Orica Scott Women
3 Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam
4 Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Orica Scott Women
5 Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies