With a win at Trofeo Binda and a podium at Gent- Wevelgem in the weeks ahead of Flanders , Coryn Labecki star ted the race with confidence.

I had a lot of momentum going into the Tour of Flanders in 2017 but honestly I didn’t wake up that morning thinking I was going to win the race or anything. I just like racing my bike and I think that was kind of what was in my head going into it.

I was just feeling really relaxed and confident and had good momentum.

At Sunweb, we came into the race with three leaders, between Lucinda [Brand] and Ellen [van Dijk] and me, depending on how the race unfolded.

We had our team-mate Rozanne [Slik] in a break earlier in the day and it set up the rest of us for a good second half of the race, to not have that pressure to chase anything.

Lucinda knew she wasn’t having her best day and she put her last few digs in to try and get a break of four riders back, then I got dropped on the Oude Kwaremont and had to chase back on. I took a couple of pretty big pulls working for Ellen, but at the top of the Paterberg the four riders were still away, Ellen couldn’t make a difference and we got a call from the car to switch the focus to bring it back for a sprint for me.

I remember we were going towards the line and

I was thinking, ‘Man, it would be kind of cool to get a top 10 at Flanders, like every kind of sweet.’

When you have someone who has won the race previously chasing everyone down for you and telling you not to pull and to save your legs you’re like, ‘I guess I’d better not mess up this sprint.’ But it’s a boost of confidence when someone like Ellen is riding for you. And obviously, the confidence I had in myself from the previous races also helped.

I had to wing it in the sprint and go on instinct and it paid off. I just couldn’t believe it. I mean, there isn’t another race where I posted up with my hands on my face. I normally put my hands out, really excited, but that one was just in disbelief. I couldn’t believe that I had won a race of that prestige and in such a fashion.”

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