The sprinters have one their last appointment in the classics and the Classic Brugge- De Panne 2023 preview gives an account of last year’s race , the route for this year and a quick velogames glance at the main protagonists to continue the Women’s classics previews.
Classic Brugge- De Panne 2022
Well known to be the sprinters classics, Grace Brown surprised them all in 2021 by launching and holding on to a solo attack. As such sprinters team, mainly Trek-Segafredo, Team DSM and Team Sd Workx worked very hard to keep attackers under control and bring this to a sprint finish last year. The finale was chaotic as Lorena Wiebes lost her lead out Charlotte Kool in a crash and this proved to be influencial to the race. Came the sprint, Elisa Balsamo launched early and held on to win to what would be her last sprint win against Lorena Wiebes to date.
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Classic Brugge- De Panne 2023 preview
As flat as it is with a finale exposed to wind, this race would have pointed towards a fast and powerful sprint finish. It is very unlikely that the whole peloton will make it over the 173km together as the the best team will go into the last kilometers fast and protect their leaders.
Update: The weather is expected to be as chaotic as the men race and the possibility of a bunch sprints is really minimal.
Classic Brugge- De Panne 2023 preview for Velogames
- Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) (28): Team SD Worx comes here with a team of four and this kind of indicates as to the willingness to support Wiebes. The super sprinter will have to rider her own race with lot of energy spent.
- Elisa Balsamo (Trek – Segafredo) (28) : I was very amazed by her extremely good shape at Trofeo Binda as she was comfortably climbing with the rest. Her team will try to make it a hard day and put Wiebes in difficulty. Hard day, but the victory is really in Trek- Segafredo’s hand as she can easily drift into a echelons split.
- Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ) (18) , Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) (16) : This is a very complex situation that the 2 Italians put us in. They are both top sprinters with Marta Bastianelli the more likely to survive a hard day but Consonni’s form at UAE tour being able to go close to Wiebes even beating her to second in the last stage make this a real dilemma. Does Marta rides for Consonni in the finale or do they both take their own chances?In winds, rains and other shenanigans, Marta Bastianelli will be on top.
- Lucinda Brand (Trek – Segafredo) (14) : She is making her road season debut here and she provides her team with another option of putting Team SD Worx and Wiebes under pressure by stretching the race with attacks in the last part of the race.
- Floortje Mackaij (Movistar Team) (14) : In the absence of Van Vleuten, Lippert, Noorsgaard and Sierra, she is the best option for Movistar. Unfortunately as seen in Omloop, she struggles to have a top 10 results as she prefers hilly terrain.
- Charlotte Kool (Team DSM) (14) : The one who beat Wiebes twice in a sprint this year is back from illness, her current condition might not be the best but she could sprint in the top 5 for the least. However, she will need a lot of help from her team to keep things under control on this hectic windy day and this could be overwhelming.
- Pfeiffer Georgi (Team DSM) (14) : With Kool just back from sickness, Team DSM has another interesting card to play here. The British will feel just at home here in this weather.
- Christine Majerus (Team SD Worx) (12): Team SD Worx coming with only 4 riders here suggest they might not go all in for Wiebes. Expect Majerus to be at the right end when the peloton splits.
- Rachele Barbieri (Liv Racing TeqFind) (12): A decent sprinter but her results has been beyond disappointing so far this season.
- Shirin Van Anrooij (Trek – Segafredo) (12): She was the strongest rider by far at Trofeo Binda and she definitely will be carrying that form here. Trek-Segafredo will not be playing any waiting game for Balsamo. Instead they will be launching the likes of Brand and Van Anrooij up the road. Wind will definitely play a part.
- Clara Copponi (FDJ – SUEZ) (12) : After spending some time on the track, FDJ Suez have their number 1 sprinter back. She started the season well with a second place in Down Under. She did very well on the track as well suggesting the condtition is right.
- Julie De Wilde (Fenix-Deceuninck) (12) : The 20 year old Belgian is becoming a firm favourite with regular top 10 finishes in sprints. Will also do very well on this very hard day.
- Tamara Dronova-Balabolina (Israel Premier Tech Roland) (10) : She has the habit of sprinting with the best but the form has just not been here this season son far.
- Shari Bossuyt (Canyon//SRAM Racing) (10): She took an impressive sprint win at Tour de Normandie on Sunday, suggesting the form is here for her to battle it out with the best sprinters. She is also tough to hold on in the horrible windy conditions.
- Sarah Roy (Canyon//SRAM Racing) (10): The Veteran has a good kick but she is expected to use her experience to protect Bossuyt and even Van Der Duin.
- Lonneke Uneken (Team SD Worx) (8): A sprinter herself, she can survive the windy condition that this race offers. Unless will she be on strict duty to keep Wiebes in the game
- Arianna Fidanza (CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling) (8): I personally has a lot of expectations for this all rounder rider but she DNF at Trofeo Binda and would be a real bargain choice.
- Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health) (6): A stage win Tour down Under stage 1 and then nothing, but she should still be considered.
- Letizia Paternoster (Team Jayco AlUla) (6): The young Italian has been extremely consistent in her sprint so far this season and would have been the most reliable 6 points here was the day not expected to be that hard.
- Tereza Neumanova (Liv Racing TeqFind) (6): Liv Racing best options for a top 10 might lie here.
- Maike Van Der Duin (Canyon//SRAM Racing) (6): Seized her chances by finishing 3rd at Miron Ronde Van Drenthe. There are less cobbles here and experience and placing will be essential.
- Maëlle Grossetête (FDJ – SUEZ) (6) : She finished 12 at Miron Ronde but will be leading Copponi out this time.
- Lotta Henttala (AG Insurance – Soudal Quick-Step) (4): The Velogames deal of the season continues to impress with 2 6th place in her last 2 races. She can definitely survive such condition and sprints very well.