The highs and lows of Flèche Wallonne

Lauren competed in the 6th round of the Women’s World Tour yesterday in Huy, Belgium. La Flèche Wallonne is an iconic race for the men’s and women’s peloton and 2016’s event was another spectacular race of short steep hills and twisting roads around the Wallonne region of Belgium.

It was not this first time Lauren has lined up for the event, but it was the first time she has started the race with real aspirations to be a contender in the final sections of the race with a top 10 result being the goal of the day.

“I knew a top ten would be really tough to achieve but thats why I worked hard for this race for the last month or so, I have worked a lot of my climbing power recently and I was really happy to see this pay off yesterday”

Lauren just missed the selection of 7 riders over the second last climb but was still in contention for a top ten when her group of around 15 riders arrived at 1km to go and the base of the Muur de Huy, a 10% climb to the finish with a maximum of 24% gradients with about 500m to go.

“I was really happy with my race up until about 500m to go when I was essentially taken out by a crash from another rider, she of course didn’t mean to do it and it wasn’t that I was in a bad position, it was just really unlucky”

Lauren remounted quickly and finished in 27th place 1minute and 23 seconds behind Anna van der Breggen from Rabobank.

“I was very upset after the race, I felt like I was going to prove something today, that I can climb well and it was essentially taken away, but you know this is also part of bike racing and it is important to move on and not dwell on it”

“I know I have a really good level at the moment and it is important remember the positives from the race as well, I really enjoyed the race and it is one that I defiantly intend to come back to in the future with big aspirations to do well, along with Strade Bianche this is my favourite race.”

Lauren will line up again on Saturday for Omloop van Borsele to essentially close up her classics campaign for 2016. After this race she will have a few days to recover to begin to work towards her next season goal of the Tour of California in a few weeks time.

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Lauren finishes 4th in Omloop van Ijsseldelta

Lauren has recorded her best european result for the 2016 season with 4th place in the wind swept, dutch classic yesterday. This is Lauren’s 13th top 10 UCI result for the 2016 season as she shows no signs of slowing down ahead of some big season goals in coming weeks.

Ijsseldelta was a typical dutch race around the city of Zwolle, Kirsten Wild’s home town, Lauren’s teammate and last years winner. Team Hitec Products began with the goal to try to set up their home town super sprinter but with very strong winds, a controlled race was not an option. After just 12km into the 134km race the bunch was in many groups with a group of 9 eventually forming after 30km. Lauren and Kirsten were both part of this group, Along with 4 riders from Rabobank. With canyon-sram and wiggle both missing the front group it was not an easy ride in the front group with the gap hovering between 1 – 2.5minutes for the next 100km.

Lauren and Kirsten rode well in the closing kilometres trying to secure a podium spot however it was not to be with Lauren finishing 4th and Kirsten 5th.

“Its a bit disappointing to not be on the podium today, I wanted Kirsten to have the best chance in her home town so I was thinking about her and in the end there were so many attacks it was hard to control.”

“It was a super hard race 130km of riding full gas!”

Of the 200 starters there were only 31 finishers, showing just how tough the conditions were.

Next up for Lauren is La Flèche Wallone on Wednesday April 20. Which marks the 6th round of the Women’s World Tour of which Lauren is currently the 14th overall.

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