Longo Borghini completes the podium at Omloop He Nieuwsblad

Lidl-Trek put in forth an aggressive plan, fighting until the end with the Italian champion, who finished third, and with Van Anrooij, fourth

The Opening Weekend of our Women’s Team started with an encouraging podium at Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. Elisa Longo Borghini jumped on the third step of the podium, taking her best result in the opening classic, after a long and heated confrontation with Kopecky (SD Worx) and Vos (Visma), but with the valuable support of Shirin van Anrooij, fourth at the finish line.

The podium of 2024 Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (@twilcha)

The two Lidl-Trek athletes animated the race and made their stand at the finish in Ninove. The Italian champion lit the fuse, attacking at 30km to go. Kilometer after kilometer the chasing group was whittled down, then, on the iconic Kapelmuur, only four remained in the front. The last 15kms of the race was a repetition of 1-2 punches by Elisa and Shirin to beat the odds and avoid a sprint against two of the fastest riders in the peloton.

In the end, the sprinters were able to endure the attacks of the Lidl-Trek duo, which rewarded Vos with the win, with the end result perhaps not fully reflecting the effort applied by Longo Borghini and Van Anrooij. What remains, in addition to a prestigious result, is the team’s willingness to fight, and leaving the race without regrets.

An impressive debut at OHN for Shirin van Anrooij (@twilcha)

Elisa: “We raced to win”

I’m very happy for the result, for the performance and for the way that we, as a Team, fought hard for the podium. We had the plan to attack early, to be aggressive, to make the race hard as much as possible and to split the peloton. We managed it very well, with me in the front and Shirin in the chasing group. We made the selection and then we battled till the very end to win the race. We knew it was hard, because Vos and Kopecky were clearly the fastest riders between us, but we never gave up trying. That’s for me and for the Team the best we could do.

Elisa and Shirin climbing the iconic Kapelmuur (@GettyImages)

We showed that we are a strong team and that we’re not scared to try something to make life hard for the strongest riders in the peloton. That was and is our trademark, our approach to races and we’ll aim to do the same throughout the whole season.

I’ve a really good feedback as a takeaway from Omloop Het Nieuwsblad. That goes for the Team, because we’re on the right path to come back to our usual level, and of course personally. The form is growing, after the debut in UAE I feel I made another step. In view of my next races, Strade Bianche and then the spring classics, that’s a big boost of confidence.

Van Anrooij during one of the many attacks (@GettyImages)

Shirin: “We’re back!”

This result and this performance to means a lot to me. I don’t hide that I faced my first OHN with a bit of nervousness, because I really didn’t know what to expect. At the end, I felt strong and good on the bike. It was very nice to be there on the front with Elisa, playing our chances. It was super cool battling and putting pressure on the other teams. We really fought to win and that was simply amazing.

After such a hard winter season, today’s was the day I needed to regain confidence. Now I know the shape is good, I can look to my next races, starting from Strade Bianche, with positive feedback. I think for us, for Lidl-Trek, we can really aim for an exciting classics season.

Omlooop Het Nieuwsblad through the lens of Twilcha