Photos and Reactions from Moolman-Pasio and Small in Strade Bianche
Strade Bianche played out to an eventful day as expected on Saturday. Unfortunately, all didn’t go according to plan for the team but the riders focused on the positive aspects and cohesive team work that came from the race.
Carmen Small was the team’s top finisher in 22nd. Below, in her reaction she talks about starting the race sick which is less than ideal on such hard route. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio who was fourth in the race last year feels she could have been on the podium but a crash, bike change and an incident with a train crossing put an end to the South African’s race. Below, she explains the day’s events.
World Champion Elizabeth Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) took her second victory of the year after outsprinting breakaway companions Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo Liv) and Emma Johansson (Wiggle High5) inside the final kilometre. Small, Joëlle Numainville and Lotta Lepistö later crossed the line in what was left of the peloton.
I was second wheel going into the longest gravel section so the first part of the race went really well. I was racing a good race and everything was going according to plan. Going into the longest gravel section, it was pretty hectic. I managed to get right to the front and the rider in front of me took the corners too fast and I was forced into the lose gravel on a corner. I went down and had to change bikes which already was game over but I managed to do a good chase with the support of Clara [Koppenburg] and Gaby [Pilote Fortin].
We were just about to rejoin the front group and a train was coming so the booms were going down. It was just starting to go down and we rode across and got disqualified. We were 100 metres to the peloton and there were only two cars between us. What do you do in that situation? I had never been in that situation before. I had really good legs and think I could have been on the podium today but that’s cycling.
It was a rough day. We lost Ashleigh pretty early on with the crash and Joelle had a bike change early on. It just wasn’t our day. Lotta rode well and helped us as much as she could. With me being sick, I wasn’t 100% and with this course you have to be 100%. It’s disappointing but that’s cycling.
We just had really bad luck today. We weren’t the only team with bad luck, others suffered as well and got no result but that’s just how it goes. The last 30 kilometres was all about not making a mistake. There’s a split and if you aren’t there the race is gone. I’m personally super disappointed because I would have liked to do better here but not 100% healthy on such a hard race, you’re not going to make the front group.