Trek-Segafredo’s 1-2-3 punch won Trofeo Alfredo Binda
Prior to the second race of the Women’s WorldTour calendar, there was one big question: how can anyone beat SD Worx?
The Dutch team dominated the first handful of races, winning five times with five different riders. Their advantage over the rest was their strength in numbers.
Trek-Segafredo very nearly won the opening WorldTour race, Strade Bianche, with Elisa Longo Borghini. But without teammates in the leading group, the Italian national champion was forced to cover multiple moves. Nearing the finish, Longo Borghini went off the front with Chantal van den Broek-Blaak. Van den Broek-Blaak didn’t need to touch the wind, she had Anna van der Breggen in the chasing group.
In the end, Longo Borghini spent too much energy and Van den Broek-Blaak rode away on the final kick to the finish. The Italian had the legs at Strade to take the win, but was without a right hand woman to help follow moves.
At Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Trek-Segafredo not only set up the race perfectly for the Italian national champion, but they also utilized the strengths of their team for a split second move that won the race.
Audrey Cordon-Ragot took on the first 120 odd kilometres of the race. Jumping in moves, making sure that their team could sit and wait. When the race started to pick up speed Ruth Winder, a strong climber, set a blistering pace on the 3.8 km climb to Orino. Winder wasn’t present at Strade, as she just returned to Europe from the US this week. Her presence made a difference, helping to balance the top teams.
As soon as Winder slowed it was Tayler Wiles’ turn. She attacked, increasing the pace and stringing the peloton out, making it impossible for anyone caught out to move up.
As Wiles’ legs started to give and with a good amount of climbing still to go, Kasia Niewiadoma of Canyon-SRAM saw an opportunity to attack, but when the 2018 winner couldn’t keep the pace Longo Borghini went.
Longo Borghini took advantage of the energy spent by Cordon-Ragot, Wiles, and Winder, riding away from a group of race favorites who couldn’t hold on. The old saying is that you should attack when you hurt the most. Longo Borghini did, and everyone else was hurting more.
Longo-Borghini’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda win was partially thanks to incredible form, partially thanks to Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), who had won the race four times already. Her presence, and particularly her sprint, neutralized the chase group behind Longo Borghini. The last ingredient was Longo Borghini’s superb team – 120 km of patrolling by Cordon-Ragot and a three-minute effort by Wiles and Winder.
The 1-2-3 punch of Winder, Wiles, and then Longo Borghini won Trofeo Alfredo Binda. On Sunday in Italy, teamwork really did make the dream work.