The race until Molenberg was without major events except for favorite Armitstead having a poorly timed mechanical before the first climb of the day. Orica drove the pace into the first climb of the Wolvenberg and in the first climbs and cobble stretches the race broke up, shedding the weaker riders. After the Molenberg the front group consisted of 30something riders with a minute advantage but the front regrouped fairly quickly.
On the Haaghoek Rabobank opened the hostilities with an attack from Roxane Kneteman but the peloton wouldn't let her over 20 seconds before the race entered Brakel and the Berendries climb at which point she was brought back in the field. Then we saw a counterattack of the four big teams Bronzini, Blaak, Guarischi and Brand got away but it only lasted as long as the Valkenberg. This was the startgun for the real action though. A group of eight including former winners Ellen van Dijjk and Annemiek van Veuten got away and got more than half a minute before the peloton reacted and pulled them back by the time they reached the Kaperij. Instead Van Vleuten went off for a solo attack with 40 km to go building a lead of 30 seconds. Like the previous attempts that lasted until the next big climb, this time the Kanarieberg where the race was brought back together in anticipation of the finale.
Next big mover was Wiggle's Elisa Longo Borghini who went on the way to the Kruisberg, followed by Trixi Worrack of Velocio-Sram. This was the big tactical move. ELB gained a lead of 50 seconds going onto the Kruisberg while Worrack fell back. The chase behind caused the race to break apart but the Wiggle rider kept building her lead until the Kwaremont where it was up to a minute. The gap held over the Paterberg but on the flat run in to the Oudenaarde finish the chasers closed the gap but only slightly, getting Elisa in their sights on the straight run in. The Wiggle Honda rider was on a mission though and held off the chase where the presence of her sprinter teammate D'Hoore cooled the other's determination.
And that was the final outcome, Longo Borghini never faltered and won solo with a comfortable margin. Behind Jolien D'Hoore completed the Wiggle triumph by taking the sprint for second over Anna van der Breggen.
|1.||WHT||Elisa Longo Borghini||3.50.43|
|3.||RBW||Anna van der Breggen||s.t.|
|4.||BCT||Annemiek van Vleuten||s.t.|