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Watch the video summaries of the prologue and all three stages, thanks to Motomediateam.

Prologue Nieuwpoort: https://vimeo.com/232544629

Stage 1 Ninove: https://vimeo.com/232726061

Stage 2 Herselt: https://vimeo.com/232870474

Stage 3 Geraardsbergen: https://vimeo.com/233035187

Anouska Koster Rit 3 2017The Lotto Belgium Tour came to an end today with a stage in and around Geraardsbergen. The Dutch rider Anouska Koster claimed the stage win and is the best overall.

Not long after the start of this 114 kilometres long stage ten riders broke away from the bunch: Anouska Koster (WM3 Pro Cycling Team), Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High 5), Christa Riffel (Canyon – SRAM), Polona Batagelj (BTC City Ljubljana), Elise Delzenne (Lotto Soudal Ladies), Alba Ribes Teruel (Lointek), Nikol Plosaj (Poland), Ruth Winder (USA), Skylar Schneider (USA) and Emilie Moberg (Norway). Tetiana Riabchenko (Lensworld – Kuota) bridged on her own, but got distanced after a crash.

After 63 kilometres the peloton arrived back in Geraardsbergen, then two laps of 25.5 kilometres had to be covered, taking the riders over the Muur and Bosberg. During the first ascent of the Muur, the first part of the peloton, led by European champion Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling), closed the gap on the escapees. Next, Coryn Rivera (USA) rode away at the front. Anouska Koster, from the early break, followed this move. In the second lap the duo was caught by a chasing group. The American rider Ruth Winder, also a member of the early break, attacked and again it was Koster who reacted. Koster beat her companion at the finish on the Vesten. Koster returned home with the leader’s jersey and best young rider jersey. Her team WM3 Pro Cycling won the teams classification and teammate Marianne Vos won the points classification. On GC Koster has twenty seconds advantage on Ruth Winder and 47 seconds on Vos.

Anouska Koster: “The American team started attacking early and I joined them. That’s how I got in the large front group. During the first ascent of the Muur my teammate Marianne Vos closed the gap. On the Bosberg Coryn Rivera joined us and she immediately rode away. I followed her, but because she was third overall and thus a threat to Marianne Vos and I was behind her on GC, I decided not to cooperate. In the final lap we were reeled in by a chasing group with Marianne. Then Ruth Winder attacked and I responded to that move. Because I was ahead of Winder on GC, I went full gas. At the end I beat her. This overall victory is really special to me, all the more because Marianne stood next to me on the podium. The victory of the teams classification is a nice reward for the entire team. Despite the bad weather it was a beautiful day for me.”

The Norwegian rider Vita Heine (Team Norway) successfully defended the mountains jersey and Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle High 5), fourth on GC, is the best Belgian.

Eindpodium 2017

Jolien D'hoore Rit 2 2017The second stage of the Lotto Belgium Tour was a stage of 107 kilometres with start and finish in Herselt, over an undulating course with nine official hills. At the end Jolien D’hoore claimed her second victory of the week.

There were a few attempts before a break of three was established, consisting of Barbara Guarischi (Canyon – SRAM), Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal Ladies) and Vita Heine (Team Norway). With seventy kilometres to go, Winanda Spoor (Lensworld Kuota) bridged to the leaders. At that moment they only had fifteen seconds advantage, but they extended their lead to more than one minute. When entering the first of four local laps of 12.3 kilometres the gap had risen to 1’50”. Two laps later, only half a minute was left, but the escapees didn’t want to give up. They succeeded in staying ahead until the last kilometre.

Next, the peloton sprinted for the stage win and Belgian champion Jolien D’hoore turned out to be the fastest of the pack. She beat Marianne Vos (WM3 Pro Cycling team) and Coryn Rivera (Team USA). Those are the same names on top three as the previous days. Jolien D’hoore takes back the leader’s jersey from Marianne Vos. She also leads the points classification and still is the best Belgian rider on GC. Coryn Rivera keeps the best young rider jersey.

Jolien D’hoore: “Today I tried to stay calm and save as much energy as possible for tomorrow’s stage to Geraardsbergen. I would have been happy for Lotte Kopecky if she had won the stage. In the finale WM3 started chasing, they obviously wanted to aim for victory with Marianne Vos. I positioned myself on the wheel of Marianne and didn’t let go anymore. It was a hectic sprint, because the break was only caught with about three hundred metres to go. At the end Marianne missed one rider in front of her to pull the sprint and that was perfect for me.”

“As I told earlier this week, I came to the Lotto Belgium Tour to prepare for the World Championships. I had not at all expected to win twice. I can now wear the leader’s jersey for the last stage and of course I will defend it. Tomorrow will be about surviving, it won’t be easy to take the overall victory. Rain is forecasted and that will make the race even harder. It will be necessary to ride at the front when reaching the bottom of the Muur.”

Vita Heine, from the Norwegian national team, conquered the mountains jersey today. And that was what it was all about for her.

Vita Heine: “It was my goal to conquer the mountains jersey today. After I had sprinted a first time for the QOM points in the break, we agreed that I could take the points if I just kept a steady pace uphill. It took a while before we had a considerable lead and in the end we almost made it to the finish. Unfortunately, we couldn’t sprint for victory, but until late in the finale I had never even thought we would have that opportunity. Tomorrow will be a tough day and Marianne Vos will be a big threat for the mountains classification. I hope I recover well from this stage. I will definitely enjoy showing the jersey tomorrow.”

You can follow the second stage, with start and finish in Herselt, via this livestream: https://livestream.com/accounts/3108428/LottoBelgiumTourHerselt

Thanks to our partner Motomediateam!

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