Success For All Three Teams

The three AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step teams were on the road this weekend. While the U23 team raced the three-day stage race the Tour de Normandie, the elite team and the juniors raced in Italy for the Trofeo Binda. Ally Wollaston, meanwhile, raced on the track In Cairo.

Ally wins omnium again

Wollaston started the year with a bang on the Track World Cup in Jakarta and continued on her great form in Egypt. After placing third in the Madison and second in the team pursuit, she added a gold medal in the omnium, just like she did in Indonesia. It was another impressive display for Ally at this Olympic event.

“Winning the omnium was the icing on the cake to a really awesome week. I started off really strong with a win in the scratch and tempo race,” Ally explained. “The elimination was a bit of a speed bump in the day, because I was eliminated much earlier than I had hoped. This put me out of the medals after three events and ten points away from the win. I approached the final points race with intent and am really proud of how I raced out there. I executed a good race plan and came away with some really key learnings which is really valuable moving forward! Now let’s bring on the road season.”

Junior women at Trofeo Binda

The junior team raced in Varese, Lombardia this weekend. It was the first race of the year for the team. Fee finished in ninth place.

“I had a good race,” said the youngest rider of the AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step junior team. “I didn’t expect to still be in the peloton because I was dropped after the last climb. I went full gas on the descent and came back, but the final was very chaotic. I wanted to do a lead-out for Ella, but didn’t see her anymore so I sprinted full gas to the line. It was a big peloton, much bigger than a U17 race and it was also much more chaotic but I enjoyed today.”

Piccolo Trofeo Binda: 9. Fee Knaven 17. Luca Vierstraete 18. Ella Heremans 24. Laia Bosch 29. Lore De Schepper 40. Nela Kankovska. Nanoi Van Wettere unfortunately crashed out, but is okay.

Trofeo Binda Elite-Women

In the Trofeo Binda, Justine Ghekiere showed again she is quickly becoming one of the better climbers in the peloton. She joined an elite group in the final, but that group didn’t manage to catch Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) who won after a 25-kilometre solo ride.

“I really felt good today,” said Justine after the finish in Cittiglio. “The climbs suited me well and I wanted to go for an attack. Maybe I made the mistake of being at the front too much. Trek-Segafredo controlled very well and attacks would not have made it. The pace was high in the final so I had to go for a sprint. Before the race, I had top ten on my mind so eighth is a good result. There is always that disappointment that more could have been possible than just this sprint but all in all I go to the Belgian classics with confidence.”

Tour de Normandie Féminin

After facing two cancelled races in a row, the U23 team was eager to race the three-day stage in Normandy. The team got some good results but most importantly some good racing experience.

“It was a really well-organised race,” said sports and technical manager Servais Knaven. “It was the first elite race for some of our young riders but they all did really well. We had some good placings on every stage but seeing them ride as a group at the front many times is even more important than results.

This was a race with a field of WorldTour teams and we showed our young riders are strong and eager to learn. Fien and Maureen were up there in the general classification at just 20 seconds from the winner. Eline sprinted to a good result. Senne was the road captain and Mirre and Julia got a taste of pro level racing for the first time. Everyone finished the race so I am happy with this weekend.”

Tour de Normandie Féminin: 19. Fien Masure 30. Maureen Arens 69. Julia Kopecky 75. Julia Kopecky 85. Mirre Knaven 92. Senne Knaven

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