An aggressive Team BikeExchange were rewarded with a strong third place for Arianna Fidanza as stage two of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana came down to a bunch sprint.
The team were active throughout the 130km stage with Spaniard Ane Santesteban forcing an early break before being joined by teammate Urška Žigart in a counterattacking move. However, the group was soon brought back and despite several attacks, only one rider managed to escape.
The lone attacker established an advantage of more than three minutes as riders continued to attack the peloton behind, but with 30km remaining the chasing bunch were closing in. New Zealand champion Georgia Williams was tasked with leading the chase and the race eventually came back together with five kilometres remaining.
26-year-old Fidanza was positioned well for the sprint and took a strong third place, her first podium of the season, behind a photo finish with the victory going to Sandra Alonso.
“The sprint was nervous so I decided to start my sprint at 300 metres to go but it was too early because there was headwind into the finish straight.
In the end I am happy because it’s a good result and I am happy that today I had the chance to have a go for a result myself and for the team as they gave me confidence and trust.
The team was strong all day today, we always were together, racing well and tried to do our best. It was a hard race with some climbs and also with warm weather.
This is my first podium of the season for Team BikeExchange and this gives me confidence for the next races where I’ll continue to try to do my best, help my teammates and race well as a team.”
Alejandro Gonzales-Tablas – Sport Director
“Today was a great result for Arianna without any doubt and also a very strong ride by the whole team, we raced aggressively all day and had all riders in several moves.
Arianna has just shown a bit of what she is capable of and I am confident we’ll see more soon.”
2021 Setmana Ciclista Valenciana stage 2 results:
1. Sandra Alonso 3:42:59
2. Sheyla Gutierrez ST
3. Arianna Fidanza (Team BikeExchange) ST
General Classification after stage 2:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten 7:03:51
2. Mavi Garcia +2:10
3. Katrine Aalerud +2:27
12. Janneke Ensing +2:31
Photo – Setmana Ciclista Valenciana/Vicent Brava