Strade Bianche – “We were the main aggressors”
The women’s peloton experienced one of the most iconic races in professional cycling when it took part in Strade Bianche on Saturday. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio started the day as the team’s protected rider and narrowly missed out on a podium spot, crossing the line in fourth place. Boels-Dolmans continued their great start to the season and took the first two places in the race, Megan Guarnier finishing solo while Elizabeth Armitstead won the sprint of what was left of the lead group.
Bigla Pro Cycling Team was aggressive throughout the day and caused the most dangerous split in the race which would end up being the winning move. Moolman-Pasio attacked on the first long gravel section which caused a 14 rider lead group to ride away, which the eventual winner would come from.
It really was a team effort today and the plan was for everyone to race for me. I’m sad I couldn’t finish it off after the team did a great job. It was a really great race for Bigla and we are happy with how we are racing as a team. We were the main aggressors in the race today. The team plan was for me to go hard up the first long gravel 9km section to create a split there. It was a little harder to do as there was a head wind but we managed to create the split and had three riders in the front with myself, Annemiek [van Vlueten] and Shelley [Olds]. It was strange because there wasn’t the cooperation we would have liked from the group. Boels-Dolmans had three riders there, I think Rabo-Liv also had three and obviously we did too but no one wanted to drive the break so we just started attacking.
Megan went at the perfect time on one of the final uphill sections. Unfortunately I wasn’t well positioned and couldn’t get out so we’re kicking ourselves that we didn’t manage to go with her at the end of the day. We expected a little more from Rabo but they didn’t chase. Annemiek had an incredibly strong race and she took it upon herself to attack wherever she could. It wasn’t to be for us and it was a case of then waiting for the final and it’s frustrating that we missed another podium but everyone on the team did an amazing job. All the riders did what was asked for them and gave 100% and again it’s another improvement by the team. It was a great advert for women’s cycling team, I’m glad people could follow the excitement on social media but it would be great to have more TV coverage for the fans to enjoy the action.
Annemiek van Vleuten
I was very happy with my and the team's performance today. I felt really strong and maybe even underestimated my performance shape a bit. The race was tough today and really tested us but I am happy and looking forward to my next race over the next few weeks.
— Iris Slappendel (@irisslappendel) March 7, 2015
— Ashleigh Moolman (@ashleighcycling) March 7, 2015
— Doris Schweizer (@DorisSchweizer) March 7, 2015
4th place for @ashleighcycling in StradeBianche! We are getting there! My race ended after 60k for a crash and broken switcher but I am ok.
— Lotta Lepistö (@LepistoLotta) March 7, 2015