Entradas

Doebel-Hickok snatches QOM in Valenciana finale, Franz wins Points – Rally Cycling


Rally Cycling came out swinging in their first stage race of the season with Krista Doebel-Hickok tearing up the climbs to win the QOM competition on the final stage of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana. Doebel-Hickok’s performance comes hot on the heels of teammate Heidi Franz who pulled on the Best Sprinter’s jersey on stage 3 to make it two classification wins for the team.

I feel proud, encouraged, and excited for what’s to come,” said Doebel-Hickok. “I’ve been racing to win. Whether that’s the stage on Friday or the jersey today. When I lost time on the opening day due to a mechanical I shifted my focus and chased the mountains classification. I’ll enjoy this jersey for a few days and then we’re back at it on Thursday.”

Franz, who featured in the breakaway on three of four stages, found renewed energy while sporting the pink Sprinter’s jersey on the final day to Alicante.

It was so special to wear pink today and I think it gave me some extra superpowers,” said Franz. “I managed to chase back to the peloton about four different times after being dropped on the climbs to help support Krista and Katie with bottles. I think the team really came together this week and supported each other with all the highs and lows. It’ll just keep getting better as the season progresses and I’m excited to be part of it.”

Both Franz and Doebel-Hickok spoke about their teammates following the final stage as four of them were caught up in a large wreck on stage 3. Holly Breck and Leigh Ann Ganzar decided not to start on Sunday as a result of their injuries while sprinter Olivia Ray was forced to abandon on the roadside due to a fractured fibula.

“The ladies had some really bad luck but they rode strong as a unit this week and proved they can fight hard in the Euro peloton,” said Kiesanowski. “Winning the sprint and mountains jerseys at this tour is a big deal. Lots of teamwork and hard work paying off after constantly animating the race from the get-go. I’m really proud of them.”

Next up is a series of Spanish one-days starting with the Emakumeen Nafarroako Classic on May 13.

Stage 4 results
1 ŽIGART Urška Team BikeExchange  3:30:13
2 FIDANZA Arianna Team BikeExchange  0:05
3 GUTIÉRREZ Sheyla Movistar Team  ”
4 ALONSO Sandra Bizkaia Durango ”
5 SOTO Catalina Anais NXTG Racing  ”
6 KLEIN Lisa Canyon SRAM Racing ”
7 TOMASI Laura Alé BTC Ljubljana  ”
8 SILVESTRI Debora Top Girls Fassa Bortolo  ”
9 BORGHESI Letizia Aromitalia – Basso Bikes – Vaiano ”
10 RODRÍGUEZ Sofia Sopela Women’s Team ”
11 BORGSTRÖM Julia NXTG Racing ”
12 VAN VLEUTEN Annemiek Movistar Team ”
13 AALERUD Katrine Movistar Team ”
14 ERASO Idoia Laboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi ”
15 BIRYUKOVA Julia ”
16 GARCÍA Mavi Alé BTC Ljubljana ”
17 KERN Špela Massi – Tactic Women Team ”
18 CLOUSE Katie Rally Cycling Women
19 ANDRES Michelle Andy Schleck – CP NVST – Immo Losch ”
20 BENITO Mireia Massi – Tactic Women Team ”

Final QOM classification
1 DOEBEL-HICKOK Kristabel Rally Cycling Women 23
2 ENSING Janneke Team BikeExchange 21
3 SHAPIRA Omer Canyon SRAM Racing 20
4 GILL Nadine Michaela Bizkaia Durango 12
5 ŽIGART Urška Team BikeExchange 7

Final Sprints classifcation
1 Heidi Franz Rally Cycling 10
2 Omer Shapira CANYON//SRAM Racing 5
3 Debora Silvestri Top Girls Fassa Bortolo 4
4 Hannah Ludwig CANYON//SRAM Racing 3
5 Maria Martins Drops-Le Col s/b Tempur 3
6 Krista Doebel-Hickok Rally Cycling 1
7 Christina Schweinberger Doltcini-Van Eyck-Proximus 1

— Tom Soladay to rallycycling.com

Van Vleuten y Movistar Team coronan una Setmana Valenciana de ensueño

Segunda vuelta por etapas en siete días

La campeona de Europa de Movistar Team, llevada en volandas por un cuadro ‘telefónico’ excelso, gana con autoridad su primera ronda en tierras españolas con las ‘azules’ tras su éxito en Gandía.

Inquebrantables. Nada ni nada pudo con las Movistar Team en la 5ª edición de la Setmana Ciclista Valenciana (UCI 2.1), disputada durante los últimos cuatro días en las tres provincias levantinas y que tuvo como absolutas protagonistas a las telefónicas, encabezadas por una Annemiek van Vleuten quien, pese a su caída el primer día camino del triunfo en Gandía, comenzó de un modo inmejorable su gira de carreras por España.

Paula Patiño y Alicia González, de nuevo estelares. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

Los 114 km de la última fracción, entre Finestrat y Alicante, fueron controlados a la perfección por un cuadro azul preocupado, fundamentalmente, en proteger la importante ventaja que Van Vleuten conservaba sobre García (ALE, 2ª). Paula Patiño, Alicia González y una estupenda Katrine Aalerud -3ª en la general, su primer podio en una ronda por etapas- se multiplicaron y cubrieron los cortes más peligrosos, quedando solo por delante en meta la escapada Zigart (BEX). Sheyla Gutiérrez, dos veces segunda estos días, firmaba hoy la 3ª posición en el sprint perseguidor.

El podio final para las Movistar Team. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

Es el séptimo triunfo para Movistar Team en 2021 -undécimo para la estructura de Abarca Sports, sumando las cuatro del conjunto masculino- y la segunda vuelta por etapas en solo siete días para las de Pablo Lastras y Sebastián Unzué, que a partir del jueves competirán en casa de su estructura, en las Clásicas de Navarra (UCI 1.1 x2).

DECLARACIONES / Annemiek van Vleuten:

“No ha sido un día tan difícil como esperábamos, pero ha habido que trabajar duro. En mi caso solo tenía que controlar la rueda de Mavi García, y mis compañeras eran quienes se ocupaban de tener las fugas controladas y que no se fuese un grupo peligroso con demasiado tiempo. Un día como hoy también es parte del proceso que estamos siguiendo: saber a quién dejar ir, a quién no… Hemos corrido con inteligencia hoy y tampoco nos hemos cebado persiguiendo para el sprint, había otros equipos con más opciones.

Van Vleuten, durante la 4ª etapa. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

La realidad es que venía aquí a jugar las bazas del resto del equipo, y lo hemos hecho, aunque fuese de otra manera. Nos volvemos a casa con el maillot, pero también con muchas cosas más. Hoy me he enterado que era la primera vez que Paula Patiño, Ali y Katrine defendían un maillot hasta el final. Son experiencias nuevas que les van a hacer crecer: rodar a tope en cabeza de pelotón, cubrir ataques… Seguro que, en cuanto descansen un poco, van a poder aprovechar mucho lo que han aprendido aquí, sobre todo pensando en grandes objetivos que vengan en los próximos años, como un Tour, un Giro…

Aalerud, acompañando a Van Vleuten en el podio. (c) Photo Gomez Sport

He disfrutado mucho, también trabajando, como hice para lanzar a Sheyla estos días. Sacamos muchas conclusiones positivas: el 3º puesto de Katrine, que es su primera vez en un podio internacional; Sheyla, que gana confianza; Paula y Alicia, que nunca habían pasado tanto tiempo liderando un grupo… Esta carrera nos hará más fuertes. Por mi parte he pasado unos días malos con la caída y me van a venir bien estos tres días para recuperar. El ‘timing’ de Navarra me viene muy bien. No es el bloque más importante de carreras en cuanto a forma -mi pico era en Ardenas-, pero quiero aprovechar estos días para volver a estar al 100% y jugar un buen papel en Navarra, en casa del equipo, y en las próximas pruebas en España”.

Imagen portada (c): Photo Gomez Sport

— Daniel Sánchez to movistarteam.com

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

Fidanza sprints to her first podium of the season on stage two in Setmana Ciclista Valenciana – Team BikeExchange


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.
 
Ariana Fidanza
“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

— Team BikeExchange to www.greenedgecycling.com

Van Vleuten se exhibe en Barx y es líder en la Setmana Valenciana

Van Vleuten se exhibe en Barx y es líder en la Setmana Valenciana — Daniel Sánchez to movistarteam.com