Historical Vuelta Stage Victory For Jackson

Canadian champion Alison Jackson launched off her teammate Kristen Faulkner’s wheel to take EF Education-Cannondale’s first grand tour win on the second stage of the Vuelta España Femenina. There has never been a better hug in bike racing history.

After stampeding to the win, Alison Jackson turned and saw her teammate Kristen Faulkner. The two of them wrapped their arms around each other and started jumping for joy. Pink EF Education-Cannondale jerseys piled in—whooping and dancing. Alison had just won the team’s first-ever grand tour stage in the women’s squad’s history.

“I came here with a real fire to win this,” Alison said, as she headed for the podium, where she would also pull on the sprinters’ jersey. “Starting in the rain, you take the mentality that it either can be really good, or that you have to be really careful. I was in the right position at the right time, with teammates to take care of me right from the beginning to the finish.”

The final kilometres were hectic. After crossing the Puerto de L’Oronet climb two thirds of the way through the 119-kilometre stage out of Bunyol, it was all downhill to the beach town of Moncofa, just north of Valencia, where the finish line was waiting. A high-speed drag race down the highway exploded when the peloton hit a series of roundabouts on the way into town. EF Education-Cannondale stayed calm, steering Alison through the chaos.

“Crashes were happening and I played it safe, and then in the final it was all due to my teammates in every moment just making up the distance lost,” Alison said.

The Canadian champion was in a great spot when the peloton passed under the famous red-kite, marking one-kilometre to go. Kristen Faulkner then came roaring up the outside of the pack and went right to the front. Alison jumped on her wheel and waited patiently, with Kristen never slowing down, until it was time to jump.

“My teammate Kristen went with 500 full gas,” Alison said. “She was so strong. Knowing that no one could come around, I could choose when I wanted my sprint to happen.”

Alison kicked, pumping all her strength through her pedals. She wanted to celebrate this one with her teammates.

“I had a bit of a disappointing spring,” Alison analysed. “I really wanted to have a key race, going into Roubaix again, but yeah you can only control what you can control. The team has come more and more together as the season goes, and coming into the Vuelta I just had a lot of fire. I was going to do anything it took to do my best to get this win and the team super believed in me, from staff to riders and I totally took that to heart. To have a win at the Vuelta a España is another big thing!”

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