Judith Arndt won the new look Women's Tour of Flanders outsprinting Kristin Armstrong (Team USA). The German outkicked the American in the final 350 meters to give GreenEDGE its first World Cup win in the third race of the eight race series.
Tour of Flanders Podium. Photo: ©Bart Hazen
"This is an unbelievable win," said Sports Director Dave McPartland. "We've had a hugely successful run this year, and this is our biggest victory to date. Happy is an understatement."
The peloton split early in the 127-kilometer race. Tiffany Cromwell was represented in the day's first significant break.
"Our plan had been to put riders up the road beginning after 40 kilometers," said Arndt. "We're all pretty good from a break, so we can be aggressive. My teammates did this, and I saved myself for the last three climbs."
Two large groups had formed at the 100 kilometer mark with GreenEDGE-AIS putting five riders in the front group. Arndt and Armstrong escaped from the bunch over the Oude Kwaremont.
"We had five girls in the front bunch when the race hit the Oude Kwaremont," said Sports Director Dave McPartland. "With 27 kilometers left, we had the strongest presence at the front of the race when Judith went away with Kristin."
Three riders gave chase. Their bridge attempt proved futile. They were back in the bunch ten kilometers from the finish.
"We came into the final kilometer, and I thought to myself 'OK, I have a 50/50 chance here,' " explained Arndt. "I'm usually a little bit better than Armstrong in a normal sprint, but after a hard race with only two riders, it can be a little difficult. She jumped at 350 meters, and I saw her acceleration immediately. I matched it and passed her. She conceded."
Judith Arndt wins Tour of Flanders. Photo : ©Bart Hazen
"Any of the five girls that were left in the front group are capable of winning a race like this on any given day," said McPartland. "Today was Judith's day. We're extremely thrilled by our first Tour of Flanders."