Saturday 27 february 2021 - It was an impressive start to the women's Movistar Team's 2021 season as the Blues took on the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad (Uci ProSeries), the first cobbled classic of the year, on Saturday with an all-star roster. The one shining the most was the youngest: Emma Norsgaard, 2nd at Ninove's finish, only behind World Champion Van der Breggen (SDW).
The Danish champion showed her huge potential at the sprint of a race torn into several groups after the Molenberg climb, around 40km from the finish, with a big selection by SD Worx leaving only twenty riders ahead with Norsgaard and Jelena Erić. As the split gained a decisive advantage, Emma focused on getting over the final climbs with intelligence and save as much energy for a bunch kick only Van der Breggen could avoid with a signature attack at the Bosberg.
A result everyone in the Telefónica-backed squad celebrated as it announces the beginning of a good season for the Blues, which continues in Belgium on Tuesday with Le Samyn, over even harder cobblestones in Wallonia.
Emma Norsgaard: “I'm just over the moon - I feel a bit surprised about the result, but above all, really happy. I tried to remain as calm and focused as I could all day, since our plan was going on the attack with Annemiek or Leah and, in my case, try to save those legs for the sprint and play a second card for the team. When we got told on the radio that I was alone into a selected first group, it was time for me to 'wake up' and put all of my energies into trying to stay there until the sprint."
"They kept me so calm and well-informed from the team car, giving me all information that I needed to focus on the task ahead and give it my all. It's sad it wasn't for first place with Van der Breggen ahead, of course, but this result gives us all a lot of morale. Doing well here was a goal for me and the rest of the team and we're even more excited for the upcoming races. The legs are there, my shape is good and we must keep doing our best."
1. Anna Van Der Breggen (SD Worx)
km 124,4 in 3h21'00" media 37,130 km/h
2. Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) a 23"
3. Amy Pieters (SD Worx)
4. Lotte Kopecky (Liv Racing)
5. Hannah Barnes (Canyon Sram)
6. Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana)
7. Lisa Brennauer (Ceratizit WNT)
8. Grace Brown (BikeExchange)
9. Marta Cavalli (FDJ)
10. Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek Segafredo)