Marit Raaijmakers scored Human Powered Health’s first one-day podium of 2024 and her first ever for the team by sprinting to an impressive second place at the Vuelta CV Feminas in Spain.
“It feels great,” Raaijmakers said with a smile after the race. “It’s a confirmation of a good winter training and a strong group of riders that managed to get a podium together at the start of the season. This gives trust for the remainder of the season.”
Avoiding a chaotic finale, the 24-year-old jumped out of the peloton in the finale of the 93-km race alongside Federica Damiana Piergiovanni (UAE Development Team) and Olivia Baril (Movistar Team), chasing down winner Cedrine Kerbaol (CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling).
“The moment was there,” she explained of the move. “I was supposed to sprint and had Katia by my side as leadout. When the split happened, Katia and I shared eye contact and I jumped.”
Noticeably the strongest finisher, Raaijmakers sprung off the wheels of her breakaway partners, coming over the line just four seconds behind the lone leader.
“I knew with 1 km to go that we would stay in front of the first group, but also knew we were not going to catch the solo leader,” said Raaijmakers. “I waited for the sprint. I felt strong all day and knew I was fast.”
Having given “the eyes” Katia Ragusa then finished in ninth place. Human Powered Health were active throughout the day with climber Yuliia Biriukova also testing her legs earlier on in the stage on the second climb, joining a breakaway of seven for a time.
All-rounder Raaijmakers has found her terrain and will use this result to give her confidence throughout the rest of her early season in Spain. “I like the terrain and races in Spain and hope to get more results for the team,” she concluded.
Next on the calendar, the team is back racing in the Women’s WorldTour at the UAE Tour Women from February 8th until the 11the. A race in the desert for the sprinters, the team will take all its firepower to the Middle East.
Vuelta CV Feminas results
1 KERBAOL Cédrine – CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling 2:24:17
2 RAAIJMAKERS Marit – Human Powered Health 0:04
3 PIERGIOVANNI Federica Damiana – UAE Development Team ”
4 BARIL Olivia – Movistar Team ”
5 FIDANZA Ariana – CERATIZIT-WNT Pro Cycling 0:13
6 QUAGLIOTTO Nadia – Laboral Kutxa – Fundación Euskadi
7 SQUIBAN Maëva – Arkéa – B&B Hotels Women ”
8 PIRRONE Elena – Roland “
9 RAGUSA Katia – Human Powered Health ”
10 PEREKITKO Karolina – Winspace ”