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

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