Reflecting on the team’s performance at the first stage race of the year: Bigla continues to foster talent within the women’s peloton
The Setmana Ciclista Valenciana was the first test for Bigla as a team, as well as an opportunity to see how the riders, many of whom are new to the team, would be able to work together to achieve common goals. Reflecting on the race, we were extremely encouraged by what our riders achieved in our first stage race this year.
In the team classification, Bigla finished second, behind the squad of the GC winner. This is an outstanding achievement, particularly when one considers that the team’s line-up for SCV consisted of 5 riders who are new to the team in 2019. This demonstrates the synergy that has developed in the squad within such a short period of time, and is a testament to our riders’ sense of team spirit.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig also claimed a top 10 position in the general classification. Despite unlucky setbacks on the first and third stages, which involved a crash at a key moment in the descent, she showed fighting spirit and remained fully supported by her teammates, which allowed her to continue to ride hard towards this achievement. In the top 20 in the overall classification, the Danish rider was joined by her teammates Leah Thomas and Elise Chabbey, the latter of whom also undertook her exams for her medical studies just before the race.
Cecilie also finished fifth in the mountains classification, with former teammates from last year, Clara Koppenburg and the climbing talent Ashley Moolman Pasio, also joining her in the fop 5.
In the U23 competition, Mikayla Harvey finished in fifth place, which is a remarkable performance in her first stage race with the team. The 20-year-old suffered a crash during the race, which unfortunately cost her several minutes until she was able to get back on the bike. In spite of this unlucky setback, she finished only 2:48 down on the winner of the youth classification. In light of the circumstances, this is indeed a very encouraging sign for our New Zealand rider.
It was also noteworthy that several former Bigla riders from last year’s squad performed remarkably well at the race. The German rider Clara Koppenburg won the general classification, while Ashley Moolman Pasio finished third overall. Riders from last year’s roster also won 3 out of the total 4 stages of the race, including Clara Koppenburg, who won the queen stage, and Lotta Lepistö, who won two fast-paced sprint stages.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig was full of praise for her teammates: “I was very happy to race at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, having won the inaugural edition of the race in 2017. I really strove for a good result, but unfortunately had some bad luck with crashes. However, I think that Bigla animated the race, and the riders worked very well together. Riding these four stages with my teammates has been an amazing experience. I’ve seen how we have developed as a team so much in such a short period of time. They make progress every day, and we’ve really come together as a unit. Riders from other teams have told me that they are amazed to see how the new teammates at Bigla are already working so well together. I think the riders in the team genuinely care for each other and we have a bright future. Our performance at Setmana Ciclista Valenciana is definitely a good sign of things to come.”
Bigla’s results at the Spanish stage race are a testament to the team’s impeccable eye for talent. And from our riders’ performances already at our first stage race of the year, we can have confidence that the team has once again scouted remarkable athletes and individuals for this year’s squad. The team takes pride in continuing to lead the sport in developing talent. With our 2019 roster adding 8 completely new riders to its ranks, we can look forward to exciting breakthrough performances from these talented new riders, and also seeing riders that have been with the team for some time, continue to improve to reach their potential.
Photo credit: Sean Robinson/velofocus.com