It was a busy start to the stage and 10 kilometers have already been covered. No attack has yet succeeded and everything is in place for the peloton for the moment.
There was a crash in the neutral zone with several riders caught up and needing technical assistance afterwards. Fortunately, it looks like everyone is doing well and the race has been cleared to start.
Annemiek van Vleuten spoke about Sporza before the race. She told them that she was still feeling the effects of her Giro Rosa crash last month.“My wrist still hurts. After Liège, I noticed that my level had dropped somewhat. Then we added a training camp to be as good as possible here today. I won here in 2013 and it was the real start of my career. . Today I am still here with the same feeling. “
Even without Vos and Bastianelli in the peloton today, there are some really big contenders looking for victory. Trek-Sgeafredo has three former winners in its lineup: Ellen van Dijk, Lizzie Deignan and Elisa Longo Borghini. The other former horse winners today are Annemiek van Vleuten, Anna van der Breggen and Coryn Rivera.
Before the race starts, if you want to know what to expect today, my colleague Kirsten Frattini has prepared a great preview, which you can read here.
The riders have rolled through the nine kilometer neutral zone.
#RVVwomen 🇧🇪It’s almost time to rock and roll 👊 pic.twitter.com/YIOnBixUKmOctober 18, 2020
CCC-Liv will be in the race but they will be without one of the pre-race favorites at Marianne Vos. The team said Vos was “not fit enough” to run this weekend, but did not go into depth. They still have Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Sofia Bertizzolo but they will miss Vos today. Learn more here.
Only 20 teams are confirmed for today’s race after four withdrawals. The biggest news is that Marta Bastianelli will not be able to defend her title. Ale BTC Ljubljana was unable to arrive in Belgium on time after having to quarentine following a positive coronavirus test within the team. Meanwhile, Team Paule Ka has also pulled out due to the team’s failure to pay for several months by its reigning sponsor. You can find out more here.
This year’s race is slightly shorter than usual and there is no Muur van Garaardsbergen but the peloton still have 11 hellingen to face. The first of them will come after 51 km of racing.
It is a very quiet affair as the organizers did their best to persuade people to watch the race from their homes. Since it has started to rain I’m sure many will be happy to be warm while they watch.
We are about 20 minutes from the start of the race. The women’s and men’s races have been reversed for this year, meaning the women spent a little more time in bed this morning before they had to get to the start.
Hello and welcome to the live coverage of the Women’s Tour of Flanders 2020.