• Kirsten Wild punches the air in celebration of winning the UCI Women's World Tour Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne (Getty)Source: Getty
She smashed it at the track worlds earlier this month, and now Kirsten Wild has her first 2019 World Tour victory for 2019, charging ahead of the bunch at Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne.
By
Cycling Central

Source:
Eurosport, UCI, Mitchelton-Scott
29 Mar 2019 - 9:05 AM  UPDATED 29 Mar 2019 - 11:09 AM

Expertly delivered towards the front of the peloton by WNT team mate Lisa Brennauer with one kilometre to go, the Dutch fastwoman hitched a ride behind Trek-Segafredo's Lotto Lepisto, who was piloted by team mate Letizia Paternoster into the final 350m.

Wild launched her sprint around Lepisto 100 metres later, hitting the front with 75m to go, never looking back as she powered over the line ahead of Lorena Wiebes (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal), Lepisto finishing fourth. 

While the pace was fast all 134 kilometres of the race from Brugge to De Panne and animated by many attacks, nothing stuck as teams could not capitalise on any wind. Wild was surprised it ended in a sprint finale. 

"I expected more fireworks in the final," she said. "I couldn't believe we just go to a sprint like this. 

"But for me for our team it is really good. I'm happy how it ended but also really surprised."

After she won the madison with Amy Pieters and the omnium at the track worlds early this month and finishing eighth a week later at the UCI WWT Ronde van Drenthe, Wild admitted she was feeling it.  

"I can't stop! I  had quite a busy season behind me. I did some track racing and directly some road racing so actually I was a bit tired so I did not really expect it but I hoped to get my fast legs on the road."

The race was slightly marred by a post-crash bike throw by Elisa Longo Borghini. Frustrated after she was taken down by Lizzy Banks who crashed quite hard, it took some time to detangle her bike from Banks' as the race hit its straps 35kms from the finish. The Italian grabbed the Bigla Team rider's bike, throwing it quite hard on the concrete path beside the road.

As a result, Banks was unable to remount, waiting some time for her team car to reach her with a spare and she did not finish the race. 

The Brit took to Twitter to express her own frustration, Borghini to apologise. 

WATCH the crashes from the women's Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne including Elisa Longo Borghini throwing Lizzy Banks' bike

"At least throw the bike in my direction eh?" Banks tweeted. "Got back up and on to my spare bike but unfortunately I was down too long and so wasn't able to rejoin the bunch to help my Bigla Team in the finish."

Mitchelton-Scott's Sarah Roy and Grace Brown also crashed - Roy with 38 kilometres to go, Brown inside the final 11 kilometres. Both remounted to get Roy up amongst it under the red kite but couldn't make it work. 

“I’m feeling fine after my crash," Roy said. "There was a lot of road furniture in those windy streets and gutters with dodgy lips. I think a rider flipped in front of me, I just banged my knee and didn’t need a bike change or anything, but I was without a radio after that.”

“We were hoping for some more wind out there to create a smaller group, especially to set Gracie up for an aggressive race. Without the wind we decided to go all in for a sprint and the whole team were awesome looking after me and covering moves.”

“Coming into the final Jess set us up perfectly and Moniek and Spratty took over until about a kilometre to go where Gracie and I were together but unfortunately got pushed back a bit as the bunch swelled."

“I found a good wheel into the last corner but ended up being almost a standing start out of there and I didn’t have a good sprint.”