Santesteban & Faulkner fight hard to second & third at the Navarra Women’s Classic – Team BikeExchange Jayco

Local Basque rider Ane Santesteban and American Kristen Faulkner raced to a strong second and third place respectively today, on another hot, hard and hilly day in Navarra, with Team BikeExchange-Jayco also taking the victory in the team’s classification for the second-consecutive day.
After finishing in fourth place and sixth place in yesterday’s race, the duo knew that their legs were good and made it into the winning breakaway in the final 40km of today’s 127km Navarra Women’s Classic.
The quartet of Ewers, Benito, Santesteban and Faulkner hovered between 20 seconds to one minute ahead of a reduced chasing bunch of ten riders in the final 25km, but with teammates Ruby Roseman-Gannon and Urska Zigart behind, the squad was relaxed and confident in the race situation. 
It was on the final climb of the day when the race exploded as Veronica Ewers attacked hard on the steep slopes, leaving Faulkner and Santesteban with a big chase ahead of them. The Team BikeExchange-Jayco duo gave it their all, trying to make the junction to the new solo leader in the final 10km, but along the narrow twisty roads, the time gap remained around 30 seconds.

In the end, the squad walk away with another solid podium finish and full of confidence in their condition heading into the coming Spanish races.
Ane Santesteban – 2nd place
“I think we had a really good scenario to go for the win today with myself and Kristen in the breakaway and we worked really well together but there in the end, the Education First rider was just stronger on the last climb. 

Me and Kristen rode together and worked together well but it wasn’t enough in the end so of course we are a little bit disappointed, we want to win but with the way we are racing like this, the win will arrive soon.”
Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas (Sport Director)
“I think we proved one more time that we are the strongest team in these races, we have no doubt about that. We controlled the race the way we wanted, the girls did pretty much everything we wanted, we set it up how we planned for. 

We had the situation we wanted to have but probably wanted a bit more co-operation from the riders in that group, so we had to take the control but at the end there was just one rider stronger than us on the climb but there was nothing we could do. 

You always want the win but it is still all very positive and we are looking for more chances with the coming races we have here in Spain.”

2022 Navarra Women’s Classic Results:
1. Veronica Ewers 3:27:52
2. Ane Santesteban +0:35
3. Kristen Faulkner  +0:58
Photo: Gomez Sport

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Martin stays twelfth in GC after one-on-one fight in shortened Giro stage

Guy Niv smiled before the start of stage 16 and said with a sense of irony: “What a beautiful day, isn’t it?”

Positivity was probably the best approach to overcoming a hard, cold, and rainy day in the Giro – and Niv understood that.

Giro d’Italia 2021 – 104th Edition – 16th stage Sacile – Cortina dÕAmpezzo 153 km – 24/05/2021 – Daniel Martin (IRL – Israel Start-Up Nation) – photo Roberto Bettini/BettiniPhoto©2021

Terrifying weather conditions made the race organization decide to shorten the 212-kilometer stage. Instead of doing nearly 5,500 meters of elevation, the stage was cut to two significant climbs.

The shortened stage didn’t necessarily translate to the stage being much easier than originally planned. The weather conditions made it a very challenging day in the saddle. There was barely anything to see for fans and followers as the organization wasn’t able to get the race covered.

ISN’s GC-contender, Dan Martin, anticipated early into stage 16 with an acceleration out of the peloton. He got some space with more than twenty other riders. However, towards the final climb of the day, all the escapees were reeled in by the pack.

On the snowy flanks of the Passo Giau, it was one-on-one. There was no peloton, no front group, and no small bunches chasing. There were only lonely riders moving their bikes up the 10+% slopes of the Giau.

After the downhill to Cortina d’Ampezzo, Dan Martin appeared 17th out of the low-hanging clouds, keeping the twelfth position in the general classification.

And was Niv still smiling after the finish? Barely. However, after a shower his smile returned, warming up the ambiance in the team bus.

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com