A great boost for Sabrina Stultiens: after a year and a half of injuries, she finally got back to racing in Brussels-Opwijk, which she immediately won. “After the finish all emotions came out after such a long period of recovery. I am grateful to everyone who supported me during the difficult period.”
Brussels-Opwijk consisted of a short run-up and six local laps of 11 kilometres each. After 30 kilometres, four riders jumped away. Stultiens initially missed the escape. When the pace in the peloton decreased, she knew there was only one thing to do: make the connection herself. After an 8-kilometre chase, she joined the front four. It was one attack after the other in the final. Stultiens remained in the front with Mareille Meijering and beat her in the sprint.
“I was finally able to put a number on my back today. The idea to race Brussels-Opwijk came about last week, after consultation with sports director Jeroen Blijlevens. I had a good training camp with CCC-Liv in Spain and was ready for the next step, although at the same time I still felt some uncertainty. Jeroen convinced me to try it out individually in a race”, says Stultiens.
“The level of the participants may not have been the highest today, but I am very happy with this victory. It is a fantastic boost in the run-up to my comeback with the team. The Drentse Acht van Westerveld will be my first race with CCC-Liv this season. I hope to be of value to the team there.”
Photo credits: Cor Vos