Ellen van Dijk rode to a second consecutive victory at Dwars door Vlaanderen with another solo attack.
The Trek-Segafredo rider was the proven strongest as she defended her 2018 title in West Flanders.
Van Dijk formed part of a dangerous 11-rider breakaway, but went clear alone 16km from home.
The former world time trial champion opened an immediate gap, with the break stalling and unable to pull her back as she rode to the line to take victory.
How it happened
The 118km mid-week race ran from Tielt to Waregem held a mostly flat course until the final 40km.
A total of five climbs three cobbled sectors ensured only the strongest would compete in the final.
The decisive move went clear 48km from the line with 11 riders breaking free, including van Dijk, her team-mate Elisa Longo Borghini, as well as favourite Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott).
After quickly gaining a minute advantage, the break began to attack each other on the climbs.
It was a perfectly timed counter by van Dijk after a van Vleuten attack that set her on the path to victory.
She paced her effort and was strong enough to hold a 32-second advantage over Marta Bastianelli (Team Virtu Cycling) and Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) who rounded out the podium.
Speaking after the win, van Dijk said: “I think it’s my favourite race from now on.
“I knew there were a lot of fast women in the group, so I had to attack. I noticed everybody was suffering and that was the perfect time to go. Obviously, I was suffering too but apparently, I could go a little deeper still.”
Van Dijk adds the win to her Dwars door Vlaanderen title from 2018, which she also won with a perfectly timed solo effort.
Women’s Dwars door Vlaanderen: Tielt to Waregem (118km)
1. Ellen Van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafedo Women, in 2-42-34
2. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Team Virtu Cycling, at 32 seconds
3. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb
4. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM
5. Sheyla Gutiérrez (Esp) Movistar
6. Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Parkhotel Valkenburg
7. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott
8. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women
9. Liane Lippert (Ger) Sunweb, all at same time
10. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM, at 36s
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Alex Ballinger is editor of BikeBiz magazine, the leading publication for the UK cycle industry, and is the former digital news editor for CyclingWeekly.com. After gaining experience in local newsrooms, national newspapers and in digital journalism, Alex found his calling in cycling, first as a reporter, then as news editor responsible for Cycling Weekly's online news output, and now as the editor of BikeBiz. Since pro cycling first captured his heart during the 2010 Tour de France (specifically the Contador-Schleck battle) Alex covered three Tours de France, multiple editions of the Tour of Britain, and the World Championships, while both writing and video presenting for Cycling Weekly. He also specialises in fitness writing, often throwing himself into the deep end to help readers improve their own power numbers. Away from the desk, Alex can be found racing time trials, riding BMX and mountain bikes, or exploring off-road on his gravel bike. He’s also an avid gamer, and can usually be found buried in an eclectic selection of books.
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