Marlen Reusser rode herself into the history books by successfully completing a majestic 45-kilometre solo in a soggy Gent-Wevelgem. “Team SD Worx is so strong. It’s special when you feel the full confidence of your team and can win in such a way,” said Marlen after her victory.
In a rained-out Gent-Wevelgem, Marlen Reusser was the first to take the initiative. However, she had already finished a chase after she had crashed before the Baneberg. “That crash was quite stupid, I slipped in the mud. I couldn’t click back in. So I had no choice but to change bikes just before the Kemmelberg. In the end, I was back quickly. Then, as a team, we continuously stayed in front because we knew there might be crashes to follow. Luckily that meant we all escaped the crash in which a pack of riders went down.”
After this narrow miss, Reusser increased the pace at 45 kilometres from the line. “It wasn’t an attack. I just accelerated, but I had a gap right away. So I kept the same pace to see what would happen. My lead increased quickly, after which I decided to go full speed ahead. That was not a difficult decision. I was the first card to play, behind me we had five other cards in the fire. I also immediately got the signal from the team car that they supported my action and that my teammates were stopping the chase. Then it’s special to finish it as well.”
Stoppers on duty were Christine Majerus, Lorena Wiebes, Lotte Kopecky and Elena Cecchini, until Wiebes went down and unfortunately took Elena Cecchini with her in the fall. Cecchini luckily did not suffer consequences of the crash. Lorena Wiebes also appeared to be okay, but considering the high impact of the crash, the team will leave nothing to chance and will further evaluate the situation in the coming days.
It changed nothing in the course of the race, as Marlen Reusser triumphed with the biggest lead ever in Gent-Wevelgem of 2 minutes 42 seconds. “I hadn’t dared to hope to arrive solo. I had expected to sprint with Lorena Wiebes. So I had absolutely not planned this solo. Lorena’s arrival allows us to race more freely. So I just tried. I’m a good time triallist, so I went all-in. The fact that I could ride alone in front for 45 kilometres was also only possible because Team SD Worx was so strongly represented at the back. So thank you Team SD Worx. I’m already looking forward to the Tour of Flanders.”
Sports director Anna van der Breggen called this Gent-Wevelgem win one of the best of Marlen Reusser’s career. “The way she wins here is a stellar performance. Not many riders did it before her: a solo of 45 kilometres and arriving solo with 2’42” lead. We fully supported her action, Marlen is the type of rider who can bring this to a successful conclusion.”