Sunday was time for our 4th time in this classic in Tielt-Winge. We managed to place 3 riders in the break of 17, Elisa, Julia and Audrey. Julie later dropped from the group, but this was a promising start for her. With a few km to go Emma Johansson (GreenEdge) and Elisabeth Armitstead (Dolmans) attacked the group, Elisa was close to catch them but couldnt quite make it. Instead there was a group sprint of 9 riders and Audrey took the last posium spot after Armistead beat Johansson for the win. Elisa took the 10th spot.
Team: Audrey, Elisa, Julie, Lauren, Ashleigh, Thea
We did 3 races in El Salvador the 6., 7. amnd 8.March. All 3 were very hot, more than 40 degrees. This gave us big problems, and in all the 3 races we dropped from the leaders in the final climbs. In Grand Prix GSB, Miriam was our best with a 26th place. In GP de Oriente and GP El Salvador Cecilie was our best with 32d and 27. places. Tone was in a break in GP el Salvador, but the break was catched by the peloton. Races were won by Zabelinska (Rusvelo), Abbott (United Health Care) and Amialusik (BePink) respectively. Next week is the Vuelta El Salvador, from 11. to 16.March.
Results, GP GSB
Results, GP la Oriente
Results, GP El Salvador
It was a great race for us, we were in all the attacks, and in the final sprint Ashleigh took second behind Emma Johansson. Elisa Longo Borghini was 8th, so it was a good day for us.
Team: Chloe, Ashleigh, Elisa, Thea, Lauren, Audrey
Saturday kicked off the spring classics in Europe, and it was just as hectic and chaotic as expected. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was out best with an 8th place, after a sprint for 4th place with 22 riders. Only 6 seconds ahead was a small breakaway where Amy Pieters (Giant-Shimano) was the strongest in a 3-girl sprint. It was a day where we had some bad luck at strategic moments, Chloe Hosking had a small crash on top of the Cote-de-Trieux which cost her too many places, and Elisa Longo Borghini had a crash going into Patersberg, which disturbed her rythm.
The start of the race was going well for us, and Thea Thorsen and Sara Olsson guarded Elisa until the entrance of the first major climb. A small crash for Ashleigh didnt destroy anything at this early stage. Elisa handed over the captain role to her after her crash, as she was apparently in a good shape. She almost bridged to the leaders (Majerus/Johansson/Pieters/Armitstead) together with Van Vleuten (Rabo), but they were caught up by a chase group. This chase group never cooperated well, and failed to catch the 3 leaders (Majerus dropped back to this group). Audrey Cordon did some chasing with Lotto and Futurumshop, but Audrey had to use most of her energy on closing down attacks on the chase group. So as a result the leaders stayed away. In the final sprint Audrey lead out and Ashleigh did a fine sprint for the 8th place. Chloe took the peloton sprint (for rehearsal, she said :-),
So we ended up with 8th place and 4 riders in the top 30, and a good team effort. It could easily have been a podium with a little more luck.
Team: Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Audrey Cordon, Elisa Longo Borghini, Chloe Hosking, Thea Thorsen, Sara Olsson
The 126 km long race was Ahsleigh against everybody. She played her cards well and tired the peloton until the descicive attack on the final lap.
Race report & results
As in 2013 Kirsten Wild dominated this race with 3 stage wins. She also won the overall. Chloe Hosking was our strongest rider and she impressed with powerful riding over the 4 stages, taking 2 3d places on the stages 1 and 3, and ending up on 3d place overall in the GC. Lauren Kitchen showed a strong addition to the team with an impressive 15th place in the GC. Audrey, Tone, Thea and Emilie added to the teamwork with attacks, leadouts and defensive work. A good first stage race for the season!