Lepistö wins final stage, Moolman-Pasio second overall
The final stage of the Aviva Women’s Tour turned out to be another amazing performance from Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team as Lotta Lepistö won the final stage and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio successfully defended second place in the overall standings.
Lepisto was part of an 8 rider group that slipped away as the race was approaching the first Queen of the mountain classification. The team plan at the beginning of the day was to protect Moolman-Pasio’s position on the overall standings and with the leading teams happy with the composition of the break, they quickly got a gap close to five minutes.
“It was a hard start to the stage,” Lepistö explains. “We were defending Ashleigh’s second place on the overall. A group was going away so I was covering the attack. Eventually we got a good gap and we were happy with the names in the group so I got the team orders to work. When the gap got too big and was threatening GC, the team orders were for me to stop working. I thought we would be caught in the last kilometre because the gap was coming down all the time. The team told me to look for a spot to attack in order to increase the gap for the break because we didn’t want the peloton to catch us as there were bonus seconds on the line. I tried a few times and couldn’t get away so I decided to save my legs for the sprint. Molly Weaver attacked with 600m to go, I got on her wheel and opened up my sprint with 200m to go.”
The group made it to the finish and Lepistö put out a powerful sprint to take her fourth victory of the season, the team’s seventh. With all the bonus seconds won by the breakaway, Moolman-Pasio’s position on the overall was safe.
“Things couldn’t have gone better for us today,” she said. “It was incredible for Lotta to make it into that breakaway. We knew she was the fastest there and she could just sit on and save her legs when we started chasing from behind to reduce their gap. Everyone rode like superstars today. The team performance was just incredible and I say this over and over but we really are a small team with big hearts.”