An aggressive race at the first edition of the women’s De Brabantse Pijl ended with Team Sunweb’s Leah Kirchmann sprinting to 2nd place from a reduced bunch.
The day opened with an eight rider breakaway going clear of the bunch, and wanting to ride an aggressive race, Team Sunweb posted Ruth Winder up the road in the leading group. The group managed to open up a one minute advantage over the peloton but a 16-rider counter attack would eventually bring their move to heel.
Immediately after the catch was made, Liane Lippert went on the counter attack, later going up the road in the day’s next break. The group stayed away until the final local lap, where a reduced peloton made the catch. Attention then shifted to the sprint with Leah Kirchmann, who after a solid lead out from the team crossed the line in 2nd place.
After the race Leah said: “It was a really strong race from the team today. We wanted to race aggressively, and succeeded in having representation in several breakaways during the race as we battled on the cobbles and climbs. In the end, it came back together for a reduced bunch sprint, and the team did a fantastic job leading me out for the uphill finish. I gave it everything and can be happy with a podium finish.”
“Our goal was to make it a hard race,” said Team Sunweb coach Koen de Haan. “The team were attacking through the whole course. The first group that went clear was 8-riders with Ruth, then things came back together and a group with Liane went clear after an aggressive ride on the cobblestone section. With strong riders in the group we didn’t want it to stay away so we had Ruth attacking from the bunch to bring it back. When things came back together the team did a good lead out for Leah to sprint and take 2nd. The team were super strong today and we can be pleased with an outcome as strong as this.”