Kristen Faulkner dominates Omloop van het Hageland

American goes on 50 kilometer solo effort to take her first win in pink

February 25, 2024

Kristen Faulkner put on a show at the Omloop van het Hageland, going on a 50-kilometer solo effort on her way to her first win in pink. 

After a day fraught with crashes and bad luck at the Omloop het Nieuwsblad, the squad was determined to bounce back — and bounce back they did. 

As soon as the flag dropped, the whole team was focused on the task ahead. They kept Kristen in perfect position and with 55 kilometers to go, she launched her decisive attack. She bridged over to the solo rider ahead and kept pushing the pace. Pretty quick, she was alone in the lead and she never looked back.

“I didn’t want to go solo,” said the American after the race. “I attacked and no one came with me but I was trying to get a group going so that was initially the goal. Alison [Jackson] was huge in helping me get in position at the beginning of the race.” 

But the work didn’t stop there for the squad behind. Everyone took turns disrupting the chase and covering moves, which proved decisive.

“Kristen did an amazing ride today. She gambled and took a chance today,” said sport director Daniel Foder. “The whole team worked really hard to control the peloton and block the road a little bit which really took the motivation away from the other teams. Before you knew it, she had a four minute gap and then it was too late. Kristen was out in the front, but this really was a team effort.”

“Today was super hard. It was a real spring classic style race,” said Alison Jackson, who was first to congratulate Kristen after the finish. “We had some good focus points as a team and I think we controlled the race really well. Kristen had an amazing ride which I wish meant it made it easy for me but it was still a really hard race. We just focused on slowing things down and giving her the best chance possible."

For Kristen, this first win in pink came as a surprise even to her.

“That’s what happens when you don’t expect it, you’re more relaxed,” she said after the finish. “I think that since this race normally wouldn’t suit me, I came in feeling really relaxed and I was totally willing to take a risk. I took a risk and it worked.”

It was a perfect day for the squad. We’ll enjoy the win today, but tomorrow the work continues. All eyes on Strade Bianche.

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