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Lauren Kitchen makes the selection in a windy, crash-strewn Omloop van Borsele

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Lauren Kitchen won the sprint for 12th place at the head of a small chase group in the Omloop van Borsele, in Zeeland, in the southwestern Netherlands.  The 122km race – made up of five laps of a 24.3km circuit – was dominated by strong winds, blowing off the North Sea, with numerous crashes shattering the peloton into several pieces right from the start. Kitchen managed to get into an 18-rider leading group that formed in the first lap, but recent illness prevented her from going with the winning move.


“Lauren’s been sick so she bounced back pretty well today,” explained Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Simon Cope. “She didn’t want to push too hard in that group, so when the attacks were going she was looking after herself a little bit more than normal.”

Vera Koedooder (Sengers Ladies) won the race in a two-up sprint with Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-AIS), while Lucinda Brand (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) took third 27 seconds later.

“It was a typical Dutch race again,” said Cope. “We knew it was going to be chaotic. At the start it went down a main road, onto a smaller road, so with 200-odd riders in the peloton we needed to be in the top 20 going around that corner.  Some achieved it, some didn’t.”

Several crashes shattered the peloton, putting a number of the race favourites out of contention, and sadly the riders of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling were among those to come down.


“Elinor Barker crashed after about five kilometres,” said Cope. “Then on the next lap Amy Roberts got brought down as well, so those girls had a bit of a chase all day.”

Despite her early crash, however, 18-year-old Barker managed to regain contact with the bunch, and – after her impressive performance in the previous day’s time trial – Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s junior TT World champion finished her first ever UCI senior road race comfortably in the main peloton, and was one of just 72 of the 182 starters to finish inside the time limit.

“Hopefully tomorrow [at the Dwars door de Westhoek] it’ll be a little bit less chaotic and Elinor and Amy will be able to experience a little bit less frantic bike racing,” said Cope. “Especially for Elinor, it was her senior debut, so it’s started off pretty tough really. That’s what Dutch racing’s all about really.”

1. Vera Koedooder (Sengers Ladies)
2. Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-AIS)
3. Lucinda Brand (Rabobank-Liv/Giant)

12. Lauren Kitchen
54. Elinor Barker

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