The sprinters undoubtedly outweigh the puncheurs on this race, so numerous groups will probably be thinking about retaining this collectively for a dash.
The largest groups have choices, although – SD Worx might ship Lotte Kopecky on an assault as a substitute of again Wiebes, as Shirin van Anrooij is an additional card for Elisa Balsamo’s Trek-Segafredo workforce to play.
All nonetheless collectively within the bunch.
Arduous to get away on the flat, particularly on this climate.
No bother for Arianna Fidanza after that crash.
An unlucky contact of wheels for @AriFidanza however she’s again up after a fast bike change 👊#GWwomen #GW23March 26, 2023
Hitting some cobbles now, a brief part by means of the village of Leisele.
The tempo is rising within the peloton now because the bunch is stretched out.
Nobody going off the entrance, however riders are getting dropped out the again.
50km accomplished – which means we’re lower than 50km away from the Scherpenberg now.
Heads down within the bunch – it is simple to see how crashes occur with everybody going quick and packed carefully collectively on the moist roads.
When desirous about the climbs we nonetheless have to come back, it is good to do not forget that while punchy, none of them are lengthy.
None last more than 1.2km, so can undoubtedly be tackled by the sprinters with out an excessive amount of problem.
Ariana Fidanza (Ceratizit-WNT) and Nicole Frain (Parkhotel Valkenburg) each reportedly concerned on this crash.
There’s been a second crash – the climate and basic pressure may cause some sketchy situations within the bunch.
It is not clear precisely who else was concerned within the crash.
Martina Alzini (Cofidis) has deserted the race after that crash.
Relative calm in comparison with the best way De Moeren affected the racing on Thursday in De Panne.
🎥 40 km into the race and the peloton has simply raced by means of ‘De Moeren’ – no echelons this time!#GWwomen #GW23Liveticker: https://t.co/T2rI729a9N pic.twitter.com/QxNR7ZTiqeMarch 26, 2023
Appears to be like like SD Worx and DSM saved issues below management throughout De Moeren.
.@GentWevelgem battle in De Moeren . pic.twitter.com/CzGLf2EdceMarch 26, 2023
CRASH IN PELOTON
Some riders have gone down right here on the moist roads.
Almost 40km accomplished, so we’re round 1 / 4 of the best way by means of this race.
Will one other transfer go, or is everybody simply desirous about the climbs?
The peloton have been racing arduous into De Moeren, however we have not heard of any dramatic splits simply but.
It takes mixture of excessive winds and energy from groups to show crosswinds into echelons.
The peloton accomplished 34.5km within the first hour, to present an thought of the early tempo.
If any groups need to break up this race early – and even simply make it arduous for the sprinters – De Moeren is the place to do it.
In any other case it is over 60km till the primary categorised climb.
First sighting of European champion Lorena Wiebes.
130KM TO GO
The primary break could also be over, however there’s much more of this race nonetheless to go…
The peloton have turned away from the headwind now, in order that’s why the tempo has rapidly gone up.
And the catch is made.
Crosswinds – probably – coming now.
The peloton are about to catch Limpens now and hit De Moeren very shortly.
Simply 40 seconds for Limpens now.
Arduous to inform whether or not that is the Dutch rider tiring, or if the peloton are winding it up in direction of De Moeren.
The wind route is true for crosswinds, however sounds as if the speeds are comparatively low, so we could not see echelon drama throughout the uncovered marsh lands.
Limpens’ lead is dropping down nearer to a minute now.
The peloton will quickly be going by means of Veurne, from which they flip again inland and in direction of De Moeren.
A couple of groups are beginning with out their apparent favourites at the moment.
Movistar haven’t any Norsgaard or Van Vleuten, no Vos for Jumbo-Visma, and AG Insurance coverage-Soudal Fast-Step have misplaced former winner Lotta Henttala this week by means of sickness.
In round 10km, the peloton will hit De Moeren and the possibility of crosswinds.
It sounds just like the winds are there, however it would rely if the peloton race it arduous sufficient to see splits, or in the event that they take it comparatively calmly.
Limpens’ lead is coming down now for the primary time – being on her personal, it is simple to get drained rapidly.
Simply over 20km accomplished, and she or he’s been away for many of that.
Lorena Wiebes is an enormous favorite for at the moment, however Gent-Wevelgem is a race she’s by no means gained.
Her greatest consequence was 2nd in 2019, however since then she’s both DNF’d or completed exterior of the highest 10.
These are the situations the riders are up in opposition to this afternoon.
This has obtained to be a fairly powerful effort for Limpens’, on their lonesome within the rain and headwind.
She can have been hoping somebody might be a part of her. She has 1:45 on the peloton now, however she could not final out entrance for all that lengthy.
We’re about 12km into this race now.
It is a headwind because the race heads from Ypres in direction of the coast, so the tempo is comparatively low as they battle the wind.
Just one rider has gained this race twice: Kirsten Wild in 2013 and 2019.
May 2022 winner Elisa Balsamo be a part of her at the moment?
This is three riders who will certainly have a goal on their again this afternoon.
Former Gent-Wevelgem winner Marta Bastianelli, Brugge-De Panne winner Pfeiffer Georgi, and Trofeo Binda winner Shirin van Anrooij.
Cofidis are engaged on the entrance of the peloton now, as Limpens’ benefit continues to develop.
There are most likely numerous groups who needed to be up the street at the moment however aren’t.
Nevertheless, this race, with its climbs, cobbles and inclement climate, also can lend itself to a small or solo transfer that may survive to the end.
Will probably be the sprinters vs the puncheurs at the moment to resolve the way it all pans out as soon as we get to Wevelgem.
With its lengthy, flat run-in, Gent-Wevelgem is usually seen as a sprinter’s basic.
A dash end would swimsuit the likes of Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx), Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) and Charlotte Kool (Workforce DSM) who all took the beginning this morning.
Limpens’ lead goes out – it is being reported as a minute and 15 seconds now.
As the toughest and closing climb of the day, the Kemmelberg is Gent-Wevelgem’s headline berg.
It is a brief however sharp cobbled climb, 600m in size with a median gradient of seven%, however some pitches of as much as 20%. We took a better take a look at the Kemmelberg right here.
This is a reminder of the 4 climbs the peloton are going through at the moment (with repeats to make seven ascents):
- Scherpenberg x2
- Baneberg x2
- Kemmelberg x2
Feels like Limpens obtained a leap on the peloton – she’s simply over 30 seconds forward of the bunch.
The primary 100km of this race could also be pretty flat, however in these situations the racing may be made fairly arduous.
Plus, with the uncovered De Moeren part – added final yr – there’s an opportunity for the crosswinds to separate the race up.
This is the peloton rolling out from below the Menin Gate in Ypres for the impartial begin:
#GWwomen The beginning of the Ladies Elite’s race has additionally been given. Who will probably be Balsamo’s successor? 🤔 #GW23 pic.twitter.com/hUqtYuCHeRMarch 26, 2023
And the assaults are beginning already!
No quiet begin at the moment – Pien Limpens (Parkhotel Valkenburg) is the primary rider to have a go.
And racing is underway!
The flag has dropped for the official begin.
There’s some acquainted roads on the route at the moment, as we head to Veurne, De Panne and De Moeren – which all featured in Thursday’s Brugge-De Panne.
That was gained by Pfeiffer Georgi after crosswinds upset the hopes of a bunch dash.
One DNS to report: Typhaine Laurance of Lifeplus Wahoo.
There’s 162.5km on the menu at the moment, so one of many longer races on the ladies’s calendar.
There’s seven climbs to deal with, and so they name are available in a 30km interval between km 100 and 130 – that means there’s over 30km from the final climb to the end line.
This is your up-to-date begin listing for at the moment’s race:
🚨 Startlist 🚨24 groups, 140 riders – listed here are all of the names you want for @GentWevelgem!#GW23 #GWwomen pic.twitter.com/eOVL0lcjwMMarch 26, 2023
We have got 4km impartial, so the official begin must be given at about 2pm CEST.
The riders have simply set off for the neutralised begin.
It is a moist and chilly day at the moment, with the rain unlikely to let up for a lot of the afternoon.
Hi there and welcome to Cyclingnews’ dwell protection of Gent-Wevelgem Ladies!
I am Matilda and I will be right here to take you thru the motion from a moist day in Belgium.