Anniina Ahtosalo Outpaces Favourites to Clinch Trofee Maarten Wynants

In a thrilling conclusion to the Trofee Maarten Wynants, Finnish champion Anniina Ahtosalo showcased her sprinting prowess to take victory in Helchteren. The race, which unfolded over eleven local laps and featured minimal elevation changes, naturally culminated in a mass sprint after 116 kilometres of competitive riding. Despite the flat course setting the stage for a sprinters’ showdown, it was Ahtosalo who outshone the field, including top favourite Chiara Consonni, who had to settle for third place behind the swift Scarlett Souren of the Netherlands.

Ahtosalo, who rides for Uno-X Mobility, expressed her delight at executing the team’s plan flawlessly. “The plan was to go for the sprint with me, both today and yesterday. In Wichelen, I finished behind Consonni, but today I was able to keep some distance,” she explained. “We rode a good race as a team. Agreed, we spared ourselves in chasing the leading trio and left most of the work to Visma-Lease a Bike. But in the last kilometres, we were all there and the sprint was prepared down to the last detail.”

Meanwhile, Consonni, despite finishing third, remained upbeat about her performance over the weekend. “First yesterday, third today, there are worse weekends,” she remarked with a laugh. “Things went a bit wrong in the sprint preparation today, we were just too far along. Uno-X handled it much better.”

The event also saw commendable efforts from other competitors, with Marthe Goossens finishing in the top ten for AG Insurance-NXTG U23, while Nienke Veenhoven managed sixth place for Team Visma | Lease a Bike Women. Veenhoven shared her reflections on her sprint, noting, “I launched my sprint a little too early. In hindsight, it’s always disappointing to realise, but I’ll learn from this. I’m very satisfied with the work the teammates did on the road to reel in the breakaway riders.”

The day’s racing proved not only a test of speed but of tactical acumen, with teams jostling for position and controlling the pace. The victory marked Ahtosalo’s first competition win since mid-June 2023, illustrating a triumphant return to the top of the podium, much to the joy of her team and supporters.

2024 Trofeo Maarten Wynants result

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Main photo credit: Bart Borgerhoff