Lepistö sprints to another WorldTour podium in London
Lotta Lepistö continued her successful campaign this season by finishing second in Ride London Classique on Saturday. The result means it's another podium place in a UCI WorldTour race for Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling team, in what has been the team’s most successful season to-date.
The race took place in rainy conditions and came down to a bunch sprint. Lepistö was neatly positioned in the front after a great team effort. Coryn Rivera (Team Sunweb) won with Lepistö finishing ahead of Lisa Brennauer (Canyon-Sram).
“I actually didn’t have great legs today but positioning was good and I had to give it a go,” the Finnish national champion said in her post race reaction. “I didn’t have amazing legs and maybe that’s why I just missed out on the win. It was a hard race because it was short. I couldn’t do better, I gave everything on the line. I wanted to win but I don’t think I could have pushed any harder. I was dead after the finish.”
Lepistö was seen paying close attention to the front from the start. As the peloton maintained a high speed, the wet conditions made the race a nervous one.
“I felt if I was behind in these conditions I could crash or the race would be that much harder. In a race like this, I felt I had to be in the front, even if it cost me more energy. I didn’t feel comfortable sitting far back.”
A team performance
Lepistö was once again supported by a committed team. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio maintained a high pace in the front of the peloton, discouraging any dangerous breakaways. Christina Perchtold covered an opportunistic attack as the race came down to the final while Nicole Hanselmann dropped Lepistö off in the front, in preparation for the sprint.
One of the most talked about moves after the race was Lepistö passing the front on the left-hand side and rounding the final 180-degree corner in the first position. “I was a little hesitant but in the end I thought, I have to do it. That move ensured I got on the podium today. I wanted to give it a try and risked it. If I didn’t do it, I would have only gotten a top 10.”
“The girls were great. Christina was struggling in the beginning but in the end, she came to me and said ‘Lotta let’s go.’ Nicole did this 3km lead-out for me. Ashleigh was with me the whole time in the front and covering moves. I think we did pretty well with this small team today. It was great to have Gaby back racing after her injury, it’s great to have her back with us.”