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  Erondegemse Pijl Preview  
  The second half of the season is well underway with a very packed calendar in the final three months of the season. Erondegemse Pijl is the final round of the Lotto Cycling Cup and with most teams focused on the Sparkassen Giro World Cup the following day it gives some of the smaller teams an opportunity.

2014 Results

1 DUYCK Ann-sophie
2 DE VOCHT Liesbet +8
3 EHRLER Desiree +8
4 KESSLER Nina +8
5 VAN DOORSLAER Annelies +8
6 DELZENNE Elise +8
7 DUTRIAUX Fiona +8
8 DE VUYST Sofie +8
10 DOM Annelies +8

Past Winners

2014 - Ann-Sophie Duyck
2013 - Maaike Polspoel
2012 - Adrie Visser
2011 - Chantal Blaak

The Route

At 119.8 kilometres it is towards the longer end of women's races. Starting with a 6.8 kilometre loop around Epre Mere. The peloton will then face a 39.4 kilometre big loop before returning for eight laps of a 9.2 kilometre finishing circuit around Epre Mere.

The Contenders

Start list available here

Ann-Sophie Duyck

The Belgium time trial champion claimed a solo victory last year. With her Topsport Vlaanderen Pro Duo Ridley squad having one of the strongest teams in the race Duyck took advantage of the lack of big teams willing to control the race to win solo by eight seconds. Repeating that performance this year will not be easy but with a similar situation this year expect to see her on the attack. If she gets a gap it will likely take a coordinated effort by several teams to bring her back.

Keep an eye out for teammates Lotte Kopecky and Evelyn Arys in a sprint.

Amy Cure

Team pursuit world champion Amy Cure is one of the most talented riders on either the road or track. At 22 Cure has already achieved more than most riders could dream of. After claiming four world titles as a junior Cure has won the points race and team pursuit at elite level over the past two years. Joined Lotto Soudal in 2014 after a promising 2013 with the Australian National team, but track commitments have prevented her from a lot of racing on the road. Comes in from La Course and a six week track training camp. Arguably the fastest sprinter in the race and if she is well positioned will be hard to beat.

Sofie De Vuyst and

De Vuyst has a 26 point lead in the Lotto Cycling Cup standings, technically she could still be beaten but looks set to win the overall classification for the third year in a row. A regular top 10 finisher especially in the one-day semi classics. Strong on the short climbs and packs a strong finish but not one quick enough to compete with the best. Would prefer a hillier course but with few sprinters here De Vuyst has a good opportunity to pick up a win to seal the overall title.

Keep and eye out for Nina Kessler, Annelies Van Doorslaer and Annelies Dom, all three finished in the top 10 last year with Kessler just missing the podium in fourth. Kessler has a quick finish and could produce a podium result.

Natalie van Gogh

Van Gogh has picked up a number of top 10 finishes this year including winning Trofee Maarten Wynants and second at Ronde van Overijssel. Packs a good finish and in this field will be looking to take her second win in the Lotto Cycling Cup this year.

Monique van de Ree

After a number of strong results in smaller races in the Netherlands and Belgium including fifth at Ronde van Overijssel, seventh Trofee Maarten Wynants and second at Salverda Omloop van de IJsseldelta. Packs a strong finish and should be contending for a top 10 or even a podium.

Floortje Mackaij

19 year old Mackaij has had her best year to date taking her first win at Gent-Wevelgem before winning the final stage of Festival Luxembourgeois Elsy Jacobs. Not a pure sprinter and on a team with Lucy Garner and my Pieters her chances often come in smaller races. Comes in off second overall and four top 10 finishes at the BeNe Ladies Tour earlier this month. Part of a strong Dutch National team.

Other names to watch: Elise Delzenne, Janneke Ensing, Sabrina Stultiens, Miriam Bjornsrud, Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen, Marijn de Vries, Fiona Dutriaux and Hanna Nilsson.
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