Entradas

Urška Žigart attacks to take a spectacular debut victory for Team BikeExchange on the final stage of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana – Team BikeExchange

Slovenian rider Urška Žigart gave Team BikeExchange something to celebrate on today’s final stage of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, attacking to take her first victory of the 2021 season in impressive style, with a strong and convincing solo move, with teammate Arianna Fidanza winning the bunch sprint behind for second place.

After some bad luck with crashes yesterday, Team BikeExchange started the final stage on the offensive, sending Teniel Campbell into an early move, which headed in hot pursuit of an early solo escapee, Nadine Gill. Campbell’s move was eventually brought back yet the squad remained attentive, and it was up to 24-year-old Zigart to take the next opportunity.

Ahead of the penultimate climb of the day, with more than 70km still to race, the Slovenian attacked away from the bunch and quickly bridged across to the sole leader Gill. The duo worked together to increase their advantage out to more than three and a half minutes before Zigart launched away from her breakaway companion with 25km remaining.  

Pushing on with every pedal stroke over the undulating terrain, the new 2021 signing was able to hold on to take a classy debut victory for the team, holding off the chasers by a slim margin of five seconds, wrapping up a successful four-days of racing in Valencia.

Urška Žigart – Stage 4 winner
“When I was about six kilometers to the finish, the gap was coming down really fast because they were preparing for the sprint from the back. At that time, I was thinking I am not going to make it, they’re going too fast, and I had a headwind, but my director was yelling in my ear to push through and telling me I can do it and to believe and I made it so I am very happy.

We wanted a bit more with the GC but that was more or less decided on the first day. We were really happy with Arianna taking third place two days ago and of course today we took first place and second place, so to have one-two on such a hard stage it is really good, and we can go ahead into the next week of Spanish races very confident.”

Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“It was an amazing day and finally we had a bit of luck. The team rode awesomely and Urška took her opportunity, a move that doesn’t happen so often but when it happens it feels the best. 
 
With Arianna in second place, it proves one more time what she is capable of. It has been an amazing week where we can take lots of confidence in to the next races we have here in Spain.”

2021 Setmana Ciclista Valenciana stage 4 results:
1. Urška Žigart (Team BikeExchange) 3:30:13
2. Arianna Fidanza (Team BikeExchange) +0:05
3. Sheyla Gutierrez +0:05

Final General Classification Results:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten 13:18:57
2. Mavi Garcia +2:16
3. Katrine Aalerud +2:30
11. Janneke Ensing +2:37

Photo courtesy of Bettini Images

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Franz attacks in Valenciana, takes Points jersey – Rally Cycling


The third stage of this year’s Setmana Ciclista Valenciana was a scorcher. With no major mountains in sight, the peloton flew along at over 43 km/hr en route to the expected bunch sprint in Valencia. Never one to settle for the expected, Rally Cycling went on the offensive early before placing Heidi Franz in the main breakaway of the day. The 26-year-old proceeded to win both intermediate sprint points off the front of the race to move into the pink jersey with one stage remaining.

It’s so exciting and unexpected to be in the jersey,” said Franz after the podium ceremony. “It wasn’t the plan for me to be in the break but once I was, Joanne encouraged me to go after the sprints. It’s been something I’ve been working on a lot this winter so it felt really satisfying to put that work to use.”

After travel restrictions and a lack of race invites derailed their early season, the team is starting to hit its stride at the races.

“Today helped my confidence after a really difficult start to the season,” added Franz. “It feels great to be with this team in the races again and making an impact on the race. I’m super proud of how everyone is stepping it up. Today was a really rough day with crashes back in the peloton, so I’m just happy to have something to give back to the team.”

The team had been targeting the stage with New Zealand criterium champ Olivia Ray but a massive pileup midway through the stage saw an end to her stage race. Initial reports are an ankle fracture that will require surgery.

Sprint classification after stage 3
1 Heidi Franz Rally Cycling 10
2 Omer Shapira CANYON//SRAM Racing 5
3 Kathrin Schweinberger Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus 5
4 Debora Silvestri Top Girls Fassa Bortolo 4
5 Giorgia Vettorello Top Girls Fassa Bortolo 4
6 Hannah Ludwig CANYON//SRAM Racing 3
7 Krista Doebel-Hickok Rally Cycling 1
8 Christina Schweinberger Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus 1

— Tom Soladay to rallycycling.com