Britain’s Liz Armitstead sprinted to a superb win at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in Italy to take the lead in the UCI Women Road World Cup on Sunday.
Armitstead, who won the overall world cup title last year, was the strongest of a group of six at the line in Cittiglio.
The ten-race series continues on Easter Sunday with the women’s edition of the Tour of Flanders.
After winning E3 Harelbeke on Friday, Team Sky’s Geraint Thomas recovered from a crash to battle to third place at Gent-Wevelgem in Belgium.
Heavy crosswinds caused havoc at the classic with Thomas blown from the road when in the leading group.
But the 28-year-old fought back and although unable to match Luca Paolini’s successful solo attack in the final kilometres of the race, Thomas crossed the line behind Niki Terpstra to continue his excellent form.
Well, what a day that was. Never experienced anything like it!!!! A battle to just stay on the road, which I didn't quite manage...— Geraint Thomas (@GeraintThomas86) March 29, 2015
Scott Thwaites finished a noteworthy 17th for Bora-Argon 18 with only 39 riders completing the 240km from Deinze to Wevelgem.
Elsewhere Ben Swift was denied general classification honours at Coppi e Bartali on the final stage. Swift was usurped by Louis Meintjes as the South African triumphed on the fourth stage to win by two seconds though 27-year-old Swift still collected the points jersey.
Alex Peters was another Briton placing second, at the Tour de Normandie. SEG Racing’s Peters was six seconds adrift of winner Dimitri Claeys while Team Wiggins’s Owain Doull was 10th as he continues his road season after winning team pursuit silver at February’s UCI Track Cycling World Championships.