The inaugural Cyclis Bike Lease Classic ended in dramatic fashion with a major crash in the sprint for third place, overshadowing Anne Knijnenburg’s victory. The Dutch cyclist triumphed in the race but the finale was marred by a horrific incident just at the finish line that left about twenty riders tumbling over each other like dominoes.

Jesse Vandenbulcke, who finished as the top Belgian in sixth place, narrowly escaped the chaos. Recounting the moment, Vandenbulcke said, “I had just crossed the finish line when I heard the crashing and screaming behind me. Having experienced several severe crashes myself in the past three years, I’ve focused mentally on approaching sprints without fear. My strategy is to position myself well and stay towards the front, which I believe reduces the risk, as it did today, allowing me to avoid another fall.”

The race, part of the Lotto Ladies Cycling Cup, was initially animated by Swiss cyclist Lea Fuchs and later by Helena Bieber of Maxx Solar Rose Women Cycling in the final stages. However, when Bieber crashed and was reeled in by the peloton, we saw the decisive move came in the last hour of racing when Knijnenburg and recent Giro Mediterraneo in Rosa double-stage winner Federica Venturelli broke away, quickly gaining a 15-second lead and battling it out for the win. Knijnenburg ultimately secured the victory, while her teammate Scarlett Souren managed to win the sprint for third amidst the tumult.

Details on the conditions of the riders involved in the crash are still pending, as fans hope for the best. The incident has certainly cast a shadow over what was otherwise a fast-paced and competitive race.

2024 Cyclis Classic result

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