Team Sunweb Wins The Women's Omloop Het Nieuwsblad
Team Sunweb's Lucinda Brand (NED) finished off an impressive display of team tactics and cooperation at the first women's classic of the season at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad today in Flanders taking the win ahead of Team Sunweb teammate Ellen van Dijk (NED) in fourth
In her first outing for Team Sunweb, Brand made her way into the main selection of the day over the Molenberg climb, and with teammate van Dijk already up the road in the main breakaway of the day, she was in a perfect position to launch her solo attack late in the stage to take an impressive solo victory.
After her victory Brand said: "It was a really good day. The team were great and supporting me really well by keeping me out of the headwind. The girls kept me in a great position, and we were in a perfect situation with Ellen up the road and good support behind. They helped me to maintain a good position ahead of the cobbles and climbs, so I didn’t have to do anything which was great."
"I started the Molenberg first and when the attacks went we got away in a small group. Ellen's gap held well in front which was good for me then I bridged across on the cobblestones when the gap came down. Then we were six with a few strong sprinters so we wanted to get away. With about 10km to go we started attacking. I had my final attack with about 5km to go - this was really hard but Ellen did a great job behind reacting to everything."
Team Sunweb coach Hans Timmermans (NED) said: "It was a great victory by Lucinda and for the whole team - it's a really good feeling. The plan was to have Lucinda as the leader and use Ellen van Dijk and Leah Kirchmann in the breaks from Paterberg onwards. This worked perfectly as Ellen was away with one other and they stayed clear for a long time."
"Then Lucinda was in the chase over the Molenberg which is where we expected the split to go. When she was in the chase she didn’t have to ride with Ellen up the road and Ellen could wait for her to bridge. They both were great in the final and were always in control. The rest did a strong ride too. Their positioning was always good and the teamwork was fantastic so we can be very happy all round."