First Win & Blue Jersey For Clara

Clara Emond won stage 4 of the Giro d’Italia women with a 40-km solo raid across the Romagna-Apennines.

The Canadian, from Saint-Ferréol-les-Neiges, Québéc, rode into the blue jersey reserved for the best climber in the Italian grand tour and earned her first-ever pro win atop the climb to Urbino. She had ridden across to the early breakaway and then dropped them over the summit of the climb to San Marino, 94 kilometres into the race. Once she was alone, she was on a mission and never looked back. “Today, the goal was to be super aggressive and bounce back from the last stages,” Clara said after she had celebrated with her teammates. “We didn’t have the beginning of the tour we wanted, so we took a chance at the beginning, kept attacking, and at some point it went. I knew on the climb that if I would gain a small advantage there, I could hold on, but I thought the others would catch me. They never did. I really started to believe in it on the last climb. It feels really special to have my first win here at the Giro.”

Sports director Daniel Foder was cheering Clara on from the race car, watching her push over the final climbs, holding off all chasers by maintaining her own metronomic pace. He was very impressed by the way Clara rode. The Canadian rider kept her cool, bridging across to the break after a fast start on the flat road by the River Santerno on the way out of Imola, and then dropped the hammer on her favourite terrain when the road turned uphill.

“I’m so happy that she was able to stay out there and take that win,” Daniel said. “We knew at the top of the climb to San Marino that there was not much flat for the rest of the stage, so there wouldn’t be much benefit from drafting; she should just try to keep her pace as fast and steady as possible. Nobody could follow. Carmen, our other DS, was guiding her through all the climbs and the descending. Today, it just worked out. It was fantastic. Today was really about going out there and showing some courage and taking a chance. Clara gave it everything. It shows that if you commit and keep believing and are not afraid to take risks, you can achieve great things.”

For Clara, this win is a reward for all of the work she has put into bike racing. She only took up the sport a few years ago and this is just her second year as a pro. When she first started racing as a fledgling lawyer, just looking for something to do during the pandemic, she never dreamed she would become a grand tour stage winner. And now here she is.

“It’s my first win, ever, so it feels super good,” Clara said. “I am really happy that I was able to show what I can do. For sure, this will give me confidence. I started cycling later than other riders and I was always lacking that confidence, so I think this is going to help me build confidence in myself and in my team as well.”

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