Van Vleuten und Moolman-Pasio Top Ten in Binda
Bigla Pro Cycling Team lined up in the second World Cup race for the year in Trofeo Alfredo Binda Comune di Cittiglio. Annemiek van Vleuten earned her third top ten of the season after winning the bunch sprint for seventh place while Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio followed her home in tenth.
The hilly race started with a furious pace, which caused the peloton to split and regroup several times. Nearly 40 kilometres of racing was completed in the first hour of racing.
The winning move was to come on the second last lap on a hard part of the climb when six riders escaped. Elizabeth Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans), World Champion, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv), Anna Van Der Breggen (Rabo-Liv), Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-Honda), Alena Amialiusik (Velocio-SRAM) and Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) all formed part of the group. Armitstead proved the strongest as they approached the line and battled it out for the win to continue a successful season for the Boels-Dolmans team.
Van Vleuten contested the sprint from what was left of the second group and lead them home to claim seventh.
“I need a super day to follow girls like the top 6 on those long climbs,” van Vleuten said at the finish. “So I can’t be too disappointed because it shows that the shape is there for what’s to come. Normally we would have Ashleigh there but she’s had stomach problems this week and was struggling to eat today but it was a super job from the team again and she could still finish strong.”
Van Vleuten continued, “We did our best today and I think we did a good job. We knew the race would go full gas on the climb on the second last lap. I was focused on the wheels but I could not follow. I could blame myself if I had bad positioning but I was there on the right wheels and I just couldn’t follow. Ashleigh can’t blame herself too, as she wasn’t feeling well but for me it's good I was still strong in the final and could win the uphill sprint from the bunch. Next week is totally different, we won’t have those long climbs so I can take confidence from our team’s performance today.”
The team now turns its attention to the Tour of Flanders on 5 April as it continues the hunt for success in its Spring campaign.