Arianna Fidanza and Mylène de Zoete in the Top 10 at Omloop van het Hageland

Arianna Fidanza sprints to fourth as Mylène de Zoete takes tenth after a fast day on the Belgian cobbles.

The 15th edition of the Omloop van het Hageland saw little action at first, with the high pace ensuring that no attacks could stick until eventually two riders escaped and held a slight advantage. At around 55km to go, their break was reeled back in. The action at the front, catching the back of the peloton by surprise, caused a split in the group that was ultimately too hard to close for some riders.

The leading group was split again by a crash on the Roeselberg with eight riders going clear - De Zoete among them. With three riders from SD Worx and two from UAE ADQ, the break was deemed too strong to be allowed too much time and was bought back within a matter of kilometres. Fidanza, bought to the front by Kathrin Schweinberger, was ready to cover any counterattacks... and she didn't have to wait long.

Alison Jackson pushed on and Fidanza followed, and a moment of hesitation from the front of the peloton allowed their gap to grow to over 1'00". Determined to see this move go all the way to the finish, Fidanza kept the pace high for the next 30km. Meanwhile behind, Lin Teutenberg and Schweinberger were working to keep de Zoete in a good position, a backup plan should Fidanza be caught before the line. With 6km to go, the backup plan paid off. Fidanza was caught, but not ready to give up just yet, followed another counter-attack from Movistar. This time, accompanied by a small group of riders including de Zoete for a small bunch sprint. 

Fidanza bought us home in fourth place, with de Zoete in tenth.

Mylène de Zoete praised her teammates at the finish: "I think the whole team did a really good job today. We stayed at the front, out of trouble. It's a really hard course with a lot of direction changes and different road surfaces and that split the bunch a few times but we were always present. Arianna raced really well with her attack, and Lin and Kathrin worked really hard to keep me in a good position in the last lap in case Arianna got caught. Without them, I wouldn't have been in the first group to sprint at the end. Because it was a small group we both sprinted, which resulted in two top 10 places."

Arianna Fidanza was pleased to be back racing: "I wasn't expecting to feel good today because I've been sick for the past week, but I'm really happy with my performance. We tried to get in the breakaway and in the end, I did with one other rider. We were only caught in the last 6km and in the final sprint I managed to get fourth. It's really nice to be back racing in Belgium".

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