Moolman-Pasio rides to a brilliant fourth in Flanders
Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio achieved her best result yet in Ronde van Vlaanderen, placing fourth on Sunday. The South African animated the race in the final, attacking from the chasing group in pursuit of solo leader Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans).
She eventually contested the sprint for second from a group of 9 after van der Breggen won solo.
“I feel it’s one of the best races I’ve raced in terms of executing the team tactic,” Moolman-Pasio said. “The team did a really great job, we were together a lot as a unit and everyone supported the tactic. We were expecting something and van der Breggen made her move. I expected with the teams with the numbers to pull it back and it was a surprise they didn’t put riders on the front and chase it immediately. We went back to our plan to rock and roll on the Oude Kwaremont so I put in an attack there. I was surprised to come out on my own and gave it everything to bridge the gap but they caught me from behind. I knew I had to do my best in the sprint so I went on the right hand side to be out of the wind. It was tricky because I was on the barriers but it opened up. I was so close to getting a podium, it was centimetres. It would have been nice to be on the podium but it’s nice to know we are getting closer.”
Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling Team was active throughout the race. Lotta Lepistö was represented in a break earlier on with the team members avoiding crashes and spending a large portion in the front of the peloton.
“It was a good week together as a team. It’s great when you can have a couple of races like this. Maybe we made a few mistakes in Gent Wevelgem and we had to have a tough talk like, ‘come on, we need to sacrifice for each other and get back to small team with big hearts.’ On Wednesday we progressed and today we improved even more, the team was absolutely amazing. We rode as a unit and supported one another. We had an amazing week in Belgium. We can only go from strength to strength.”
The team will have a two week training block before returning to for the Ardennes Classics.