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Emilia Fahlin takes ninth place after strong performance in Le Samyn
Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling's Swedish champion Emilia Fahlin took ninth place in a bunch sprint from a much-reduced peloton at the end of Le Samyn in Dour, southern Belgium. The 111.6km race saw several riders try to break away, but nobody was able to get more than 40 seconds clear before being pulled back again.
"Emilia was riding really strongly today," said Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling directeur sportif Franky Van Haesebroucke. "She was always near the front, along with Charlotte Becker, they were covering all the moves.
"We were going to play the card of Emily Collins today, but she wasn't feeling so good, so Emilia stood up and did her best in the sprint. The sprint was between about 40 or 50 riders, and we had three girls in there."
The race was based on four laps of a 21.3km circuit, which featured the climbs of the Côte d'Audregnies and the cobbled Côte de la Roquette. It was won by Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS), ahead of Ashleigh Moolman (Hitec Products) and Sofie De Vuyst (Futurumshop.nl-Zannata) as the depleted bunch arrived at the finish.
"The roads were really terrible today," said Van Haesebroucke. "Mayuko Hagiwara had a flat tyre early on, and then she had a crash. All of this was in the first ten kilometres; she came down pretty hard on her tailbone, but she still managed to get back in to the peloton.
"Then, after about 20km Emilia had a flat tyre, but we managed to get her back in the peloton.
"Overall I was happy with the way they raced."
1. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)
2. Ashleigh Moolman (Hitec Products)
3. Sofie De Vuyst (Futurumshop.nl-Zannata)
9. Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)