Reusser Returns To Form For Itzulia

Marlen Reusser started the season like a rocket, with a stage and overall victory in the Tour of Valencia. After a Covid infection and a bad crash in the Tour of Flanders, the Swiss hard rider then had to draw a line under her classical ambitions. The Vuelta Femenina was her reappearance and now she is ready to defend her overall victory in Itzulia. 

“I feel I made serious strides in the Vuelta. My goals remain unchanged. I am aiming for classification wins in the Tour de Suisse and the Giro Donne. In Itzulia I want to get confirmation that my form is okay again. If the opportunity presents itself, I would like to go for the overall win here as well,” said Marlen. 

“I feel pretty good again. Of course I still have some minor problems after the hard heavy crash in the Tour of Flanders where I broke my jaw, both ear canals and several teeth. After the Spanish block, my ‘vacation’ or rest period will consist of visiting medics for further follow-up of my jaw, ear canals and teeth. But now my focus is fully on the Spanish block. I’m happy to be racing again.”

“In the Vuelta Femenina I still had pretty high expectations for myself, which in hindsight may have been a bit optimistic. After the spring I had, this was not so realistic. So after the first stages, I decided to draw full the cards of Demi Vollering and Niamh Fisher-Black for the general classification. So I then did a lot of work, especially at the beginning of the stages. They were tough and hard efforts, which in themselves were excellent training. I felt I was getting better and better. I didn’t go all out on the climbs, to try to get a slightly better place in the GC, because we already had two GC riders on our team. So it will be a bit of a wait and see how I am uphill, but I do feel that the form is good.”

“My final win in Itzulia last year is a wonderful memory. In the first stage we went full for Demi Vollering. I did a lead-out into the last climb. Then I climbed over the top of the hill with Kasia Niewiadoma and Annemiek van Vleuten and still came second. In the second stage it was a tactical decision to mix the cards again and go for the attack with me. That’s how I took my lead with which I would win the classification. It remains a special moment.”

“Whether I can win Itzulia again is hard to say. I’m sure the tough training in the Vuelta helped me get back to a higher level. I think I can do really well out of it. We have a strong team at the start again. With Demi Vollering, we have another overall winner of this Tour of the Basque Country Itzulia in our ranks. Niamh Fisher-Black is in good form also. I am optimistic that our team can manage to go for the overall win again.”

“My further goals this season are the GC in the Tour de Suisse and the Giro Donne. The Spanish block lasts almost a month, then I go on altitude training in Switzerland, I come down the mountain for the Tour de Suisse. I’m looking forward to that, but first I hope to be victorious in the Spanish block.”

Team Line-Up –

Demi Vollering – the Netherlands

Mischa Bredewold – the Netherlands

Marlen Reusser – Switzerland

Niamh Fisher-Black – New Zealand

Marie Schreiber – Luxembourg

Blanka Kata Vas – Hungary

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