Strong sixth place for Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig at Amstel Gold Race
The first race on the team’s Ardennes Program was today’s Amstel Gold Race. The hilly parcours of the Dutch one-day event took the riders from Maastricht to Berg-en-Terblijt over almost 127km of demanding terrain, and included no less than 19 ascents. From the beginning, a small group was able to distance itself from the field and carve out a gap of more than five minutes. However, at the foot of the Fromberg, the attacks came thick and fast, and the advantage of the leaders was drastically reduced. A group of around 15 riders, including Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, took up the chase behind the escapees, and they were able to catch up to them a few kilometres later. On the remaining part of the course, the race witnessed a constant and relentless stream of attacks. On the last kilometres, Niewiadoma launched an attack, which no one was able to respond to, and the Polish rider ended up taking the win. In the sprint that was contested by the chasing group behind, Cecilie was able to take out a strong sixth place overall.
After the race, Team Manager Thomas Campana said: “Today was the first time that five of our riders took part in this race. Despite that, they worked together well and brought Cecilie into a good position ahead of the important seventh climb of the day. Unfortunately she didn’t have any teammates in the first group, which is always a difficult situation for any rider. In contrast, other teams were present with two or three riders in the lead group. Under these conditions, and with such a young team, sixth place is a very solid performance. The team also showed remarkable team spirit today and now we can look with confidence towards the upcoming races.”
Cecilie summarised the events of the day as follows: “Today’s race was not easy. In the beginning, there was a leading group which was able to build up an advantage of more than five minutes. However, we knew that this was the calm before the storm. There were so many attacks and counter attacks today, and I didn’t have any teammates in the first group. I tried to follow the attacks, but it was hard to counter all of these moves. But I think that we can be very satisfied with a top ten finish. The team is still young and my teammates have such great potential. We’re getting stronger from day to day, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming races in Belgium.”