How the race finished
Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) rode away to her first victory in the Women’s World Tour at Trofeo Alfredo Binda. Her teammate and defending champion, Elisa Balsamo was fastest of the chasing bunch, with Vittoria Guazini coming home third.
Van Anrooij was in disbelief at her first world tour win and her first victory for her team, Trek-Segafredo. Having expected her move would be caught and that she was simply setting things up for Elisa Balsamo to take back to back victories, for Trek-Segafredo taking yet another first and second was better than they could’ve dreamt.
Full results are available below.
How it happened
Rolling out from Maccagno con Pino e Veddasca, the day started alongside the tranquil waters of the Lago Maggiore. Ready for a traditionally unpredictable day, the peloton then turned away from the coast, to complete four laps of the finishing circuit taking in two climbs each lap.
Despite multiple attacks and small bunches getting clear, everything was brought back and the group was still largely intact as they moved onto the finishing laps. Going over the first climb a group including Shirin Van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo), Mischa Bredewold (SD Worx), Rejanne Markus (Jumbo-Visma), Mikayla Harvey (UAE Team ADQ), Caroline Andersson (Liv Racing TeqFind), Paula Patino (Movistar), Elena Pirrone (Israel Premier Tech Roland), Francesa Barale (Team DSM), and Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon//Sram Racing) got clear, but FDJ-Suez, who missed the move, brought it back.
Only a few kilometres later a new group clipped off the front including Esmee Peperkamp (Team DSM), Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), Kasia Niewiadoma and Elise Chabbey (Canyon//Sram Racing), Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo), Mischa Bredewold (SD Worx), and Alena Amialiusik (UAE Team ADQ). Once again FDJ-Suez had missed the move, and it was the power of Grace Brown that pulled the dangerous group back.
With the bunch reduced to around 40 riders, teams weighed up their options – attacking on the climbs or hoping to keep things together for a sprint, knowing the indomitable Lorena Wiebes (Team SD Worx) ever present.
Next time they came over the top of the climb with around 45km left to race, Eleonora Ciabocco (Team DSM) made her move, quickly establishing a small gap of 15 seconds. Sensing an opportunity, Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo-Visma) also clipped off the front as the road descended, bridging across to Ciabocco before the road flattened out again. The pair rode strongly at the front, while Team DSM patrolled the peloton behind. Once again having missed the move, it was Marta Cavalli, in her much anticipated return to racing, who put in an attack, but she wasn’t allowed any space. Her teammate Loes Adegeest had more luck, slowly pulling out an advantage over the peloton as she took off in pursuit of the duo up front, quickly joining them.
The trio worked well together, but on the next climb Trek-Segafredo had other ideas. With a 20 second gap to close, Gaia Realini used her climbing power to steadily reel the trio back in. In her wheel, team mates Shirin van Anrooij, Amanda Spratt and Elisa Balsamo were safe and ready to cover any moves.
As the trio approached the top of the climb they still had a few seconds up their sleeves, but that was just motivation for van Anrooij, who came out of Realini’s slipstream as the road flattened off slightly, launching a huge attack up the outside that even the motorbikes had trouble anticipating and clearing the way for. van Anrooj pushed on over the top of the climb, as everyone’s legs were screaming. Holding her gap on the descent, the peloton were breathing down her neck as they came through the finish line and got the bell for one lap to go, with Team SD Worx putting all their climbers on the front to try to pull things back together for Lorena Wiebes.
Trying their luck once again, Grace Brown attacked from the peloton, hoping to use her time trial skills to bridge across to the lone leader. The peloton wound things up into the base of the second to last climb, quickly reabsorbing Brown’s attack. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon//Sram Racing) and Mavi Garcia (Liv Racing TeqFind) both pushed the pace up the climb, stringing out the already reduced bunch. Amanda Spratt was attentive on their wheels, while teammate van Anrooij continued to hold her gap at 10 seconds.
The power on the climb had reduced the chasing bunch to around 16 riders, with Canyon//Sram, DSM and UAE Team ADQ all having multiple riders. But Trek-Segfredo were still in the driving seat, with their sprinter and last year’s winner Elisa Balsamo sitting pretty in the front bunch, supported by two other riders and with Shirin van Anrooij starting to extend her gap up the road. On the final climb of the day, Marta Cavalli spent a long time on the front, while attacks from Ricarda Bauenfiend (Canyon//Sram Racing) and Mavi Garcia were fruitless. Marianne Vos (Jumbo Visma) had an unfortunately timed mechanical which ultimately put her out of contention in the front group.
Holding 22 seconds over the top of the climb, van Anrooij faced a further 7km of descending and then a long flat run in to the finish, before she could raise her arms and flash her trademark smile as she crossed the line. Half a minute later, her teammate Elisa Balsamo finished things off for the team in second, with Vittoria Guazzini (FDJ-Suez) coming in third.
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