Classic Brugge-De Panne: The Reactions

Written by: Felix Mattis
Posted 1 month ago

Elisa Balsamo of Lidl – Trek won the 7th edition of the Classic Brugge-De Panne in a bunchsprint ahead of Charlotte Kool (dsm-firmenich – PostNL) and Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health). It was the second time the Italian was victorious in the race at the Belgian coast and her fourth victory of the season.

After the race we talked to the Top 3, but also had a chat with two of the attackers of the day, Nina Buijsman (FDJ – Suez) and Christina Schweinberger (Fenix – Deceuninck), as well as Chloe Dygert (Canyon//SRAM Racing), who finished 6th in the first race of her 2024 season.

Elisa Balsamo (Lidl – Trek / Winner)

“I’m very happy and I’m really satisfied about these two wins. And I think that also the team is really happy. I’m in a really good shape and I’m feeling good. And for me this is the most important thing, because after the crash last year, it was really hard to come back at a high level. So I’m very happy.”

“My teammates did a great lead out. And then I was with Clara (Copponi) after the last corner. But then I saw that there was also Charlotte and I thought that her will was the best position for me. And then when I saw 200 meters, I just went full gas.”

Charlotte Kool (dsm-firmenich – PostNL / 2nd Place)

“Second place is the same as nothing. So yeah, I’m quite disappointed. I think the whole team did really well. We executed the plan like planned – actually it went perfect. So I’m really proud of the girls, but I think someone was just faster today and that’s the conclusion.”

“First I thought she came a bit from the back with speed, but I think we started sprint on the same time. So I think she was just faster today.”

Kool: "Second place is the same as nothing"

Daria Pikulik (Human Powered Health / 3rd Place)

“I’m really happy to take the podium here. It was not that much wind today, but maybe that helped me a little bit also, because at my last race I had a crash and I didn’t race this first three races in march.”

“So I came here and was like: I know, that I trained really hard. I know that I still have fast legs. Let’s see what we can do today! But of course I also had a crash today and that maybe cost me a lot of energy to come back to the peloton. I was a little stressed, because I again hit my head.”

Chloe Dygert (Canyon//SRAM Racing / 6th Place)

“It was a hard day. I really don’t know what I was expecting. Yeah, honestly, I’m so blessed to be here. I mean, we all hope to win, but coming into a sprint with the best sprinters in the world, I’m not on par with them. I think today was more just being in the peloton again, getting used to the peloton, getting comfortable again and just trying to find my way for the remainder of the season.”

“I think there was a point where I was pretty comfortable sitting on the DSM train. But coming into this final, it’s so narrow, so hectic, and without a strong lead out, it’s kind of hard to be able to keep your position and then go for it. So, yeah, Trek and DSM, they have that nailed.”

Christina Schweinberger (Fenix – Deceuninck / 64th Place)

“I think the chances were really low. But yeah, we have to try something, right? Because we can also wait for the sprint and get nothing. Or we can try something and get nothing. So it was the later.”

“We really tried and hoped for the wind. But you have to take it as it comes. It was good practice or training, if you can see a race like that. But now full focus on Gent-Wevelgem.”

Nina Buijsman (FDJ – Suez / 70th Place)

“I was thinking: This is quite far, I don’t think that I can win the race. At some point I had 1 minute and then I got hope to maybe make it to the finish. But in the end it was too hard with De Moeren – it was a long straight line with wind. So it was too hard.”

“We wanted to play it aggressively because we don’t have the top sprinter to win this race. So we wanted really to play it aggressive and maybe to have a chance with the hope for a bit more wind.”

Share this article:
Download our App for:
© ProCycling Women 2024