• Jolien D'Hoore (L), Marta Bastianelli (C) and Lisa Klein (R) celebrate on the podium of the 2018 Gent-Wevelgem (Getty)Source: Getty
Marta Bastianelli capitalised on a perfect lead out from Alé Cipollini teammate, Australian Chloe Hosking, to win a close sprint against in-form Jolien D'Hoore (Mitchelton-Scott).
Ale-Cipollini, Mitchelton-Scott
26 Mar 2018 - 9:17 AM  UPDATED 26 Mar 2018 - 11:22 AM

In the hard slog to the finish in Wevelgem, Hosking launched Bastianelli with around 300 metres to go, the Italian just managing to hold off D'Hoore and Canyon SRAM's Lisa Klein for the prestigious WorldTour win. 

“This win means how intense was the winter preparation," Bastianelli said. "I want to dedicate it to my teammates, the staff and my family. I am a mum and it is a harder work to do, that’s a bigger win.

"Chloe was extraordinary in the final 500 metres, I launched myself 200 metres later and I won."

"It’s one of the greatest days of my career."

The race failed to fragment until the second ascent of the Kemmelberg when around 18 riders slipped off the front. But with the big hitters behind, everything was back together with around 30 kilometres to go.

Despite a few mild flurries and many riders falling off the back through attrition, the big names stayed together in the reduced main bunch until the finale.