02.04.2023 World-Tour, News, Race news
KASIA 5TH IN FLANDERS
Kasia Niewiadoma finished in fifth place today at Ronde van Vlaanderen in Oudenaarde, Belgium. CANYON//SRAM Racing had four riders in the top 20 when Elise Chabbey came second in a three-rider sprint to take 11th place. Just a few seconds behind, Maike van der Duin led home the bunch sprint to finish 13th while Shari Bossuyt was 18th. After the race, Maike retains her lead in the World Tour youth classification.
The spring classic was relatively calm for the first 90km, but the action came thick and fast as the intensity built climb by climb. The race was thrown into chaos, with almost the entire peloton brought to a standstill on the Koppenberg after the first riders slipped on the cobblestones.
Kasia says, “The race became intense from the Koppenberg onwards. We had a lot of tailwind leading towards the Koppenberg, and the speed was high. Before it, Shari and I were behind Van Vleuten’s crash which caused a gap. From then on, it was a sprint and difficult to move up. We had Elise in the breakaway, which was good, but we were caught off guard as a team.”
“The approach to the Koppenberg was hard, and with almost everyone having to walk at a certain point, it just became hectic.”
After the Koppenberg, the peloton was split into pieces. Two leaders became three, and the second group consisted of just a handful of riders, including Kasia and Elise. After being in the breakaway, Elise lost contact with the group just before the Kruisberg/Hotond climb with 28km remaining. Seven riders remained in Kasia’s group, and the gap to the leaders came down to 11 seconds.
“I believed we would catch the leaders. I’m not sure if the breakaway composition wasn’t good or if we didn’t have a good flow to be able to make the catch. On the Kwaremont, SD Worx blocked part of the road at the start of the climb, and it was difficult to pass. I went all out on the Paterberg, but we couldn’t close the gap.”
Kasia continues, “As a team, we had the power to be on the podium today. As the race turned out, I was responsible for sprinting for the podium. It’s disappointing I wasn’t able to reach it. I’m not satisfied with fifth place. I know that Persico and Vollering are fast, but I’ve worked on my sprint and wanted to win from that group.”
Lotte Kopecky (SDW) went solo to the line, 36 seconds ahead of Kasia’s group sprinting for the podium places.