“We want to start the off-season with a good feeling after the races in Drenthe” – Liv Racing

Liv Racing closes the road season this weekend with the Drentse 8 van Westerveld (Friday, October 22) and the Ronde van Drenthe (Saturday, October 23). In both Dutch one-day races Liv Racing will compete with four riders. On Friday Alison Jackson, Evy Kuijpers, Ayesha McGowan and Sofia Bertizzolo will start. A day later, Alison Jackson, Evy Kuijpers, Marta Jaskulska and Sofia Bertizzolo will represent the purple formation.

Both races will be held in the Dutch province of Drenthe. In the Drentse 8 van Westerveld (139 kilometres) the riders will start and finish in Dwingeloo, where cobblestone sections are the main obstacles in the race. In the Ronde van Drenthe (159 kilometres) the riders will ride from Assen to Hoogeveen. The course includes ten cobbled sections. The VAMberg will also be climbed four times.

“After the Women’s Tour I got sick. It was only a flu, but I was not 100 percent fit. After I recovered, I slowly built up to these two races in Drenthe, which will be my last races for Liv Racing. I want to end this fine three-year period in a good, positive way. Not only for myself, but also for the team. The races in Drenthe are always fun to ride, they are attractive. Weather elements like the wind have an impact on the course, the race is never boring”, says Evy Kuijpers.

“If you look at both races, the Ronde van Drenthe is definitely the toughest of the two, being 159 kilometres long. And you have the many cobbled sections and the VAMberg climbs. It is also the last test of strength between all the big teams. It is a good race to show yourself again and to make sure you go into the off-season with a good feeling. With the team, we should be able to go for good results. Sofia Bertizzolo won last week in France. And Alison Jackson is in shape as well, although we have to wait and see how she has recovered from her crash in the Women’s Tour. We start with a small team, but we will make the most of it.”

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com

Lotte Kopecky sprints to fourth place in GP du Morbihan Féminin – Liv Racing

After winning La Classique Morbihan (Sofia Bertizzolo) last Friday, Liv Racing was at the start of the 102 kilometre Grand Prix du Morbihan Féminin on Saturday. Lotte Kopecky sprinted with a depleted peloton for the win. Our Belgian road champion didn’t come further than fourth place. Italian rider Chiara Consonni took the victory in Grand-Champ.

The race in Brittany (France) started early. Before nine o’clock the riders were already on their bikes, in 5 degrees Celsius and fog. A local, hilly circuit of 14.6 kilometres awaited the riders. This had to be done seven times in total.

“We had agreed to start the race calmly but sharply. The first laps we would not do anything ourselves, but we would anticipate if necessary. Unfortunately we missed out when a group of six riders from strong teams escaped. That forced us to chase,” says team manager Hugo Brenders.

After five laps, the leading group, which had a maximum lead of 1 minute and 45 seconds, was caught up by Liv Racing. In the remaining two laps, attacks rained down. “We wanted to keep Lotte Kopecky as fresh as possible for the sprint. But that was quite difficult. In the final sprint, our best was gone after all our efforts. A second successive victory was unfortunately not possible.”

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com

Al ataque por Sheyla en Morbihan; Jelena Erić, 10ª

Grand Prix Morbihan

Movistar Team se luce en la última prueba del fin de semana en Bretaña, con Aude Biannic y Paula Patiño, muy ofensivas, y la campeona serbia, peleando sin éxito en el sprint. Venció Consonni (VAL).

Buscando dedicarle a Sheyla Gutiérrez -que pasó ayer viernes cirugía para restañar los golpes y heridas faciales por su dura caída en La Classique Morbihan- un triunfo para compensar el mal trago, Movistar Team se lució durante gran parte del GP Morbihan, sobre 102 km con un sinuoso circuito -dos repechos principales y varias pequeñas cotas- alrededor de Grand-Champ.

Aude Biannic, gran anfitriona, fue la mayor protagonista del bloque dirigido por Jorge Sanz. Primero marchó en una escapada de seis a mitad de carrera, y en la última vuelta, entre un sinfín de movimientos, logró abrir una veintena de segundos que fueron rápidamente cerrados por el ritmo del pelotón.

El buen apoyo de Gloria Rodríguez y Alba Teruel sirvió para que Jelena Erić y Paula Patiño buscasen el ‘resultado’. Mientras la colombiana se movió varias veces en el último giro, la campeona de Serbia -que llegó a entrar en un peligroso quinteto con Kopecky (LIV)- no pudo lanzar su potente sprint y tuvo que conformarse con la 10ª plaza. Triunfó la italiana Chiara Consonni (VAL).

Imagen portada (c): Photo Gomez Sport

— Daniel Sánchez to movistarteam.com

Sheyla Gutiérrez, al suelo en La Classique Morbihan

Caída en tierras galas

La riojana cae en el sprint de la prueba bretona y deberá permanecer en un centro médico francés durante las próximas horas.

Un desagradable incidente en la llegada de La Classique Morbihan (UCI 1.1), primera de las dos pruebas que Movistar Team disputa este fin de semana en tierras bretonas, ha obligado al abandono a Sheyla Gutiérrez.

La riojana, que disputaba la llegada de Grand-Champ -se impuso Bertizzolo (LIV)- en el pelotón principal que luchaba por las plazas de honor, se fue al suelo y sufrió un golpe en la cabeza y heridas en la cara. Trasladada a un centro médico cercano, Gutiérrez, consciente y tranquila, deberá permanecer allí durante las próximas horas para pasar las pertinentes pruebas y seguir su evolución.

Jelena Erić, activa en los kilómetros finales. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

La corredora española no tomará, como es lógico, la salida mañana sábado en el GP Morbihan (UCI 1.1), donde sí concurrirán Patiño, Teruel, la local Aude Biannic y unas Gloria Rodríguez y Jelena Erić al ataque hoy en las últimas vueltas.

Imagen portada (c): Photo Gomez Sport

— Daniel Sánchez to movistarteam.com

Sofia Bertizzolo takes victory in La Classique Morbihan after strong team tactics – Liv Racing

Sofia Bertizzolo did herself and Liv Racing a big favour. She won La Classique Morbihan (115 kilometres) on Friday in Brittany, France. At one kilometre before the finish, on a sloping part, she placed a razor-sharp attack. No one had an answer. The peloton finished 9 seconds later. Lotte Kopecky came in seventh.

Bertizzolo won her first professional UCI victory in France. “That’s great of course, even though La Classique Morbihan is maybe not the biggest race. The feeling of winning was something I had been looking for for a long time. This season I have shown several times that I am strong. But unfortunately there were not many chances to win, partly because I am not a pure sprinter or climber. It’s nice that today all the pieces of the puzzle fell into place. It is the confirmation I have been looking for for a long time.”

Bertizzolo praised Liv Racing’s tactical plan. Pauliena Rooijakkers was in a breakaway with 85 kilometres to go before the local circuit. At 25 kilometres from the finish the Dutch rider attacked again. This time she stayed ahead with eight other riders.

“The idea was that Lotte Kopecky and I would stay calm and focused in the peloton. When Pauliena was caught again, I attacked at 1 kilometre from the line exactly according to our plan. Full gas, I did not hesitate. We knew we could surprise the competition with that, because Lotte was of course still in the peloton. Nobody likes to close the gap, knowing that there is a very strong sprinter in your wheel. The tactic worked out well. And luckily my legs were strong enough to execute the plan. I’m very happy with this.”

Saturday, with the Grand Prix du Morbihan Féminin (102 kilometres), there is another race in the same region. The profile of that race is similar to that of La Classique Morbihan. “It would be great if we could have another celebration as a team.”

— rik to livracing.com

Annemiek van Vleuten valora el recorrido del Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift 2022

Recuperándose de sus lesiones

La número 1 mundial en 2021 -a solo una prueba WorldTour de confirmarse dicho ránking- ofrece sus impresiones en profundidad sobre la ‘Grande Boucle’, que arrancará el próximo 24 de julio en París.

“Lo primero de todo, quiero agradecer a la organización por tomarse en serio la confección del recorrido. Transmite la sensación de que han hecho un gran esfuerzo para crear un recorrido bonito y que represente lo que es el ciclismo femenino a día de hoy. A primera vista, creo que han acertado en el sentido de haber ofrecido oportunidades a todo tipo de corredoras en esos ocho días de carrera.

Obviamente me gustan las etapas de montaña, pero hay otros aspectos que veo muy bien. Por ejemplo, el hecho de empezar en los Campos Elíseos. Es una forma bonita de conectar el Tour masculino con el femenino, comenzando donde ellos acaban. Me gusta el planteamiento porque normalmente la gente está triste el día de París porque se acaba todo; esta vez, tienes la oportunidad de seguir viendo ciclismo y vernos a nosotras. Es bonito también que las carreras tengan alguna forma de conexión sin celebrarse a la vez, sin quitarse protagonismo. El concepto me gusta.

Como decía antes, también me gusta que haya diferentes tipos de etapas. Días para las sprinters, días con repechos -una de las etapas tiene esa dura ascensión de 1 km muy cerca del final- y, en general, todos los ingredientes que debería presentar un Tour de Francia, simplemente en una versión más comprimida.

Vale, es cierto que no hay contrarreloj, pero tampoco estoy triste por ello porque los dos finales de montaña me vienen personalmente muy bien. También me hace ilusión ver que han hecho el esfuerzo de meternos en subidas conocidas, puertos que la gente puede identificar fácilmente. Si ves el Petit Ballon, el Grand Ballon, La Planche des Belles Filles… es un Tour de Francia, se identifica fácilmente, y creo que es una gran decisión. En particular La Planche es una subida que tengo ganas de afrontar. No la conozco y seguro que será uno de los sitios que vayamos a reconocer de antemano.

Van Vleuten, durante la temporada 2021 recién concluida para ella. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

En general, lo único que no me gusta demasiado, y no lo hace en ninguna vuelta por etapas, es la etapa con los tramos de tierra. No siento que sea algo necesario en un recorrido de Tour de Francia. Aumentas la importancia del ‘factor suerte’, del ‘factor buena suerte’ en concreto, porque la carrera se te puede ir por un pinchazo. En vueltas por etapas, no me gusta tanto. Es un poco una lotería, para una carrera como esta lo veo demasiado arriesgado. Esperemos que todo el mundo ‘sobreviva’ y nadie sufra esa mala suerte.

Por resumir: muy contenta en global, feliz de que tengamos esta oportunidad, y una motivación extra para mi rehabilitación. Seguro que va a ser uno de los mayores objetivos de la próxima temporada para mí. Habrá que ver si podemos afrontar Giro Donne y Tour de Francia en una misma temporada, todavía lo tengo que valorar con el equipo y mi entrenador, ver si es realista, si es posible, y también conocer el recorrido del Giro. Pero como digo, el Tour va a ser uno de los grandes objetivos de mi 2022”.

— Daniel Sánchez to movistarteam.com

Rooijakkers goes for ‘final offensive’ in two Breton races – Liv Racing

 

Liv Racing is preparing for two French one-day races. On Friday the team with Ayesha McGowan, Pauliena Rooijakkers, Lotte Kopecky and Sofia Bertizzolo will compete in La Classique Morbihan. On Saturday there is the Grand Prix du Morbihan Féminin.

La Classique Morbihan (115 kilometres) starts in Josselin. The hilly course will bring the riders to the local final circuit which will be ridden five times. The riders will have to face the same climb of 1.8 kilometres six times. After the last passage, the course goes slightly downhill for one kilometre before the finish in Grand-Champ.

One day later there is the Grand Prix du Morbihan Féminin (102 kilometres). In this race the riders will compete on a local circuit in and around Grand-Champ. This hilly lap is almost 15 kilometres long. The riders will ride it a total of seven times.

Pauliena Rooijakkers goes to France with confidence. Last weekend she became Dutch MTB Marathon champion. “I have competed in these French races a few years ago. Back then the course was slightly different than now. It remains hilly anyway. We will try to make the course hard, on the many climbs that should be possible. That way we will try to create a good situation for ourselves. Who knows, maybe we can put Lotte in a position to go for success.”

“The Dutch MTB Marathon championships, last weekend, did me good. I feel strong and I definitely want to make something beautiful out of it. These will be my last races for Liv Racing. Let this be a nice final offensive after many fine years.”

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com

La Classique Morbihan 2021 | Movistar Team

El equipo femenino de Movistar Team afronta su penúltima salida de 2021 con las dos pruebas del GP Morbihan, comenzando con una Classique Morbihan que este año prescinde de los tramos de sterrato que usó en 2019 y utilizará un trazado bastante más corriente.

Son 115 km entre Josselin y Grand-Champ, con una docena de pequeños repechos antes de un circuito final con seis subidas de 1800m al 3% -últimos setecientos metros al 5%-. El último paso por dicha cota se corona un kilómetro antes de la meta, que será en ligerísimo descenso.

— Daniel Sánchez to movistarteam.com

Rachele Barbieri and Katia Ragusa – Liv Racing

Liv Racing has signed two new Italian riders for the next two seasons. Rachele Barbieri will return to road racing after being completely focused on track. Katia Ragusa wants to take the next step in her career with Liv Racing.

Rachele Barbieri won the bronze medal in the Omnium event at the European track cycling championships in Switzerland last week. She was also part of the Italian team that took silver in the team pursuit.

“A few years ago I put my road ambitions aside. Instead, I concentrated fully on my first Olympic Games. I feel it is now time to return to the road, at WorldTour level. I am very happy that Liv Racing believes in me. In the next two seasons I definitely want to repay that trust. Liv Racing is a perfect team for me. The riders always work as a unit with a strong tactical plan and the organisation is professional. I want to be part of that. Not unimportant: I already know Giorgia Bronzini, the new sports director, pretty well. I am convinced that my return to the road can be successful in this environment,” Barbieri said.

Katia Ragusa, the number two of the Italian road championship in 2020, is ambitious. Having already achieved some good results over the past few years, she now wants to make a name for herself for good. “I see opportunities at Liv Racing to grow and become a stronger, more complete rider. At first I will mainly play a role in supporting teammates. Eventually I hope to go for my own chances. In theory, especially the classics should suit me. There is good support and the team is developing strongly. I want to be part of that growth process. It will surely be a wonderful adventure.”

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com

Bertizzolo goes on the attack – Liv Racing

The sixth and final stage (155,3 kilometres) of the AJ Bell Women’s Tour ended in a bunch sprint again on Saturday. After two sixth places on Friday and Thursday, Sofia Bertizzolo did not take part in the sprint this time. She chose to attack earlier in the stage, which was unfortunately eliminated in the finale.

The attack of the day arose at about ninety kilometres from the finish. At first only Eugenia Bujak, Veronica Ewers, Dani Christmas and Ane Santesteban were in it. Sofia Bertizzolo bridged the gap to the four riders and could then hope for success, knowing that she is fast in the sprint. However, the escapees were caught up in the last twenty kilometres. Elisa Balsamo won the stage. The leader’s jersey of Demi Vollering was never in danger.

For Liv Racing, the Women’s Tour was a tumultuous race. After the first stage the team had only three riders left due to a heavy crash with Alison Jackson and Jeanne Korevaar among others. One day later Evy Kuijpers abandoned due to illness. As a result, the team rode the final part of the race with only two riders: Soraya Paladin and Sofia Bertizzolo.

“Because of the early crash of Jeanne and Alison and because of Evy’s illness, we were soon behind in this Women’s Tour. The only thing you can do is attack. And our Italian riders have done that very well. Soraya showed herself yesterday, Sofia today. Cycling is a team sport, but the circumstances forced us to approach it as an individual sport,” says sports director Brenders.

Photo credits: Cor Vos

— rik to livracing.com