2024 Brugge de Panne – Race Report

How the race finished

Elisa Balsamo (Lidl Trek) continued her winning streak at Brugge de Panne, outsprinting Charlotte Kool (dsm firmenich Post NL) and Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health).

Full results are available below.

How it happened

A long, flat course with a windy parcours traditionally makes Brugge de Panne a playground for the strong teams able to break things up in crosswinds. Today, with little to no wind on the flat parcours, the race lent itself to a sprint finish from the outset, with the withdrawal of Team SD Worx Pro-time including sprint superstar Lorena Wiebes opening things up for other sprinters in the peloton.

From the outset, a number of small attacks peppered the race, but by 30km in, there was still no breakaway formed. Finally, with around 110km remaining to race, Nathalie Bex (Chevalmeire) slipped away solo, and quietly increased her lead to around the one minute mark. Some twenty kilometres later, as the peloton passed through the finish line for the first time, Bex found herself caught again.

As soon as Bex was caught, a counter attack came from Alessia Vigilia (FDJ Suez) and Lisa van Helvoirt (VolkerWessels). The pair hovered off the front for the race for around fifteen kilometres, before they too were reeled back. The next attempt came from Christina Schweinberger (Fenix Deceuninck), Alice Wood (Human Powered Health) and Letizia Borghesi (EF Education-Cannondale), who were joined by Eugenia Bujak (UAE Team ADQ). Another counter by Lucinda Brand (Lidl Trek) and a number of other attempts to bridge brought things back together once again. 

FDJ-Suez tried again, this time sending Gladyz Verhulst-Wild up the road. She was joined by a chasing bunch of six riders, but as they came into the final lap on the course, the peloton closed things down. A flurry of last ditch moves came, with Alison Jackson (EF Education-Cannondale) and Wilma Aintila (Lotto Dsnty Ladies) two of the new names to get involved – but the lack of wind and number of teams keen for a sprint finish made it hard to get clear. 

At 22km to go Nina Buijsman had luck on her side and made an attack stick, quickly opening up a gap of over one minute. The responsibility for the chase fell to dsm firmenich Post NL, whose work saw Buijsman back in the peloton inside 8km to go. 

The sprint trains set up to launch their leaders towards the finish line, but the drag race between dsm firmenich Post NL and Lidl Trek was disrupted by a roundabout, which saw a perfectly placed AG Insurance Soudal shuffle themselves into the lead. At the notoriously tight corner through the tram tracks, dsm firmenich Post NL regained the front position, doing a perfect leadout for Charlotte Kool. Unfortunately for Kool, Balsamo was on her wheel, and was able to launch past and claim the win. Kool rolled in second, with Daria Pikulik picking up third place for Human Powered Health. 

Full Results

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

 

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