The momentum continues for Lidl-Trek women with second at Dwars door Vlaanderen

Another close finish for the Lidl-Trek women's team in Belgian as Shirin van Anrooij goes head-to-head with Marianne Vos in a two-up sprint to the line.

Lidl-Trek have been praised for their teamwork multiple times this Classics season already and Dwars door Vlaanderen was another race where the spirit of the group shone through the Belgian grey skies.

The Team started the day with a plan: to race together and to make the race hard. They did just that and after the race resumed following a 20-minute neutralised period, it didn’t take the Team long to get back into the thick of the action.

With 15-kilometers to go, van Anrooij and Elisa Longo Borghini were part of a six-rider group of race favorites  and it was clear that they would be fighting it out for the victory.

The two Lidl-Trek riders didn’t want the full group to head onto the finish straight together and kept the pace high and attacks going and, in the end, with five kilometers to go, van Anrooij and Vos (Team Visma | Lease a Bike) were going head to head to the finish.

The 22-year-old Dutch rider for Lidl-Trek held her nerve over tense final kilometers but, in the end, Vos’ powerful sprint proved half a bike length too much with van Anrooij having to settle for second place – although still a strong result – on the line.

Lidl-Trek ended the day with three riders in the top ten with Longo Borghini coming home sixth and Lucinda Brand ninth from the second chase group on the road.

Shirin's reaction

“It was a stressful and chaotic day. We just tried to make it a race really hard after 30 kilometers but then, of course, the race was neutralized because of a car accident. After that we stuck to our plan to be aggressive and to go full gas from the next cobbled sector. It was a successful plan and we managed to make a good gap and, in the end, I tried to play the game against Marianne, but she was just the strongest in the sprint.

We already had the plan to race aggressively before the race, but then during the neutralization, Ina and Lucinda suggested to be even more aggressive as soon as the race resumed, and go for the attack again. When me and Elisa were up front we knew we had to try to go away, because neither of us were going to win the the sprint against those six riders.

Of course, this isn’t a victory but it feels a bit like one to me. It’s my first big podium in a Belgian race, I was there and I was able to play the game, not get too stressed and just sit on which I normally would never do because I always just want to race. I think again it was just a perfect race with the Team. We all raced together and it was just really cool to be up there. I did a good sprint but it was just not enough.

I wasn’t that confident coming into this race after Gent-Wevelgem, I did not feel the way I wanted to feel but then today, was just proof, even if just to myself, that the shape is there and that I need to believe it. Together with Elisa, we’ve been in a lot of finals now and I think we will be there in Flanders again and I hope we can play the game together with the entire team.”

Dwars door Vlaanderen photo gallery