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It was another wet and miserable day for the women’s peloton in the third round of the UCI Women’s WorldTour at Trofeo Binda in Cittiglio, Italy on Sunday.
“It’s nothing we haven’t seen already and we are tough enough to do it,” commented Boels-Dolmans’ rider Megan Guarnier as the women’s peloton lined up for the 20th anniversary of this event.
Rain poured relentlessly throughout the 131-kilometre race and the run-in to the four-lap circuit around Cittiglio was relatively mild. Only a few solo riders went off on a flier or two, but they were easily reeled in by the pack.
It wasn’t until the start of the first lap of the 17.8-kilometre circuit that the pace and excitement picked up. Characterised by two climbs — a steep but short climb to Casale and a more gradual four-kilometre climb up to Orino —, the pack started splintering in the first lap. More attacks followed and on the penultimate lap, a duo of Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-SRAM) and Ane Santesteban (Alé Cipollini) finally broke free.
A group of 10 riders fiercely chased the duo and successfully caught them in the last lap around Cittiglio. A flurry of attacks followed with Canyon-SRAM dictating the race. Kasia Niewiadoma, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot and Amialiusik all took turns attacking and it was the young Polish rider, Niewiadoma, who earned herself a gap on the final Orino climb. With no rider to match her attack and just under eight kilometres left till the finish, the young Polish rider stayed clear, soloing across the finish for her biggest one-day race victory yet.
The win also put her in the Women’s WorldTour leader’s jersey.
World champion Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans) was the first out of the chase group to come across the line with Marianne Vos (Waowdeals) rounding out the podium in third place.
“My victory today was due to an amazing team,” Niewiadoma said after the finish. “It’s been another really hard day on the bike. From the start, it was raining and the conditions were tough. On the descents and sharp corners you really needed to pay extra attention to the road. We stayed alert and attentive throughout the race as a team.”
“I can say on behalf of my team that we stayed in control of the race no matter what other teams were doing. We stayed calm and didn’t panic. With the others doing so much work I could just conserve energy and wait for my time. It’s amazing that we were able to put our team plan into practice and to win the race, I’m super super happy for this. I just want to go see my teammates now and give them a big hug.”
Our photographers were on the scene to capture the grit, grime and grimaces.
The Women’s WorldTour continues with a new edition to the calendar, Thursday’s Driedaagse De Panne-Koksijde on March 22nd.
2018 Women’s WorldTour
3 March – Strade Bianche, Italy
11 March – Ronde Van Drenthe, The Netherlands
18 March – Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Italy
22 March – Driedaagse De Panne, Belgium
25 March – Ghent-Wevelgem, Belgium
1 April – Tour of Flanders, Belgium
15 April – Amstel Gold Race, The Netherlands
18 April – Flèche Wallonne, Belgium
22 April- Liège-Bastogne-Liège, Belgium
26-28 April – Tour of Chongming Island, China
10-13 May – Tour of California, USA
19-22 May – Emakumeen XXXI. Bira, Spain
13-17 June – Women’s Tour, Great Britain
6-15 July – Giro Rosa, Italy
17 July – La Course by Le Tour de France, France
28 July – RideLondon Classique, Great Britain
10 August – Vargarda team time trial, Sweden
12 August – Vargarda road race, Sweden
16-19 August – Ladies Tour of Norway, Norway
25 August – GP de Plouay – Lorient Agglomération, France
28 August – 2 September – Boels Ladies Tour, Netherlands
16 September – Madrid Challenge by la Vuelta, Spain
21 October – Tour of Guangxi, China