A tough day at the office
The race got off to a fast start with Boels Dolmans’ Christine Majerus taking the prime at the top of the first climb of the day: the 2.1-km long Côte d’Ereffe. The 5% average gradient climb was enough to see riders dropping at the back of the bunch. This was going to be a tough day in the saddle for most.
As the dropped riders made their way back in to the bunch, current UCI Women Road World Cup leader Jolien d’Hoore attacked, followed by and attempt from Kaat Hannes (Topsport Vlaanderen). Both attacks were reeled almost immediately.
The second QOM prime up the 1-km Côte de Bellaire was taken by Daiva Tuslaite (Team Inpa Bianchi Giusfredi).
The Côte de Bohissau was the longest climb of the day at 2.4-km and an average gradient of 5.5%. This did not scare Luxembourg champion Majerus who by taking another turn at the front, won her second QOM prime of the day. The Boels Dolmans ladies were not willing to let anyone else control the pace of the race. It’s a tactic the team is well known for.
The peloton was still together as the first ascent of the Mur de Huy was looming.