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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

Peron & Lozano roll hard on the climbs to finish with the leaders at Hellas Tour

A hot and hilly opening stage of the International Hellas Tour traversed the ancient Island of Crete from the capital Heraklion to the picturesque port of Chania where a technical finish awaited on the seafront.

Italian sprinter Andrea Peron and Spanish climber David Lozano produced a good showing for Team Novo Nordisk, forming part of an elite reduced group that formed over the climbs and tried in vain to chase down the remnants of the breakaway.

David Lozano:

“I felt a lot better today than in Turkey that’s for sure. It was hot, straight onto a climb and the pace was high from the start, but we did a good job today. The guys supported me and Andrea really well and to be honest everyone in our group thought the breakaway was already caught.”

“We hit 2,900m elevation in 179km and the group of four guys were really moving out front. Andrea and I were in the reduced favorites group and we collaborated well together. When we hit the descent to the finish, it was technical and we thought we would be fighting for the stage result, so to find out at the finish that one guy remained and he won…was a bit deflating. But we’re in good shape and we go again tomorrow.”

Sports Director Gennady Mikhaylov:

“That was a good start from us today. The guys followed instructions and worked hard with both Andrea and David right up there with the favorites group.

“The race was split very early because we were straight onto the climbs and I was surprised that one guy from the break managed to stay out front, but that’s the race today and we showed good signs. So that’s what we will carry forward into tomorrow’s stage two.”

— Tim Lindley to www.teamnovonordisk.com

Opening stage in Rwanda: Israel Start-Up Nation creates hard race and starts the hunt for GC

After a few days of social projects, including embracing the only women’s team in Rwanda (see video below) and visiting the Kigali Genocide Memorial, Sunday the second of May marked the first stage of the Tour du Rwanda.

The girls from the cycling club of Kibungo, who Israel Start-Up Nation pledged to support with the cycling equipment needed to chase their dreams, came over to watch the race and saw that Israeli continental riders Edo Goldstein and Omer Lahav had perfectly adapted to racing with the WorldTour team.

It is always a special feeling to race on Rwandan roads. The fans, the views, and the type of racing make the Tour du Rwanda different from any other race.

With teams consisting of only five riders, and a peloton of just 75 riders in total, the stages in the Tour du Rwanda are very difficult to control. The race features very aggressive racing, from the gun, and requires an attentive racing attitude.

Israel Start-Up Nation, who had participated in the Tour du Rwanda since it was a continental team, has experience with racing on Rwandan roads. The team took responsibility, chased down a break-away, and finished with four of the five riders solidly in the bunch.

With seven stages to go, James Piccoli is in a promising position for a good result in the GC.

Photos: Sjors Beukeboom & Jean Chris Kitoko

#YallaISN #RacingForChange #TdRwanda2021

— Sjors Beukeboom to israelcyclingacademy.com