11.09.2023 Continental, News, Race news
AGUA MARINA FINISHES 13TH OVERALL AT THE TOUR DE L'ARDECHE
Agua Marina Espinola finished thirteenth in the general classification after the final stage today of the Tour de l’Ardéche. The CANYON/SRAM Generation team had aimed to bring Agua Marina back into the top ten but fell short despite their best efforts. The team was pleased with its performance, active in the day’s breakaway on five of seven stages and able to animate and shape the race while working towards a top ten goal in the GC.
Agua Marina finished just one minute behind the top ten and +3:49 behind the winner Marta Cavalli (FDJ). Daniela Schmidsberger was tenth in the youth classification, with all six riders able to finish the seven-day tour, the longest-ever stage race for four of the six riders.
Alex Morrice: “I felt excited yet nervous going into the race. I was prepared after a great August in Italy and Spain, training hard in the mountains. There was a mix of feelings, excited to see where the legs from my hard training would put me, yet also apprehensive because I had last raced four weeks ago and had never raced a stage race this long before!
After the race, I felt like I had given every ounce of energy I had to give. I felt proud of the achievement of completing the longest race I’ve ever done and enjoyed experiencing a lot of new race situations, particularly being in the breakaway on Stage 1. I am grateful for the opportunity to race with the team here on a race that was new to me, and we worked well as a team.
I feel exhausted but accomplished. A new experience to add to my whirlwind first pro season under the belt, I can build on this newly gained knowledge and confidence in racing these longer tours in my career.
Reflecting on the race, I found areas of opportunity to focus my training. Racing under accumulative fatigue, mentally preparing to dig deeper daily to keep these long, hard miles up the hard terrain in the heat.
The team were very supportive, especially Agua, who raced tactically very well. I gained valuable insights racing with her.
Now for a bit of a break from racing, I am extremely motivated for next season. I have learnt an incredible amount so far, not just about racing but how much it takes to reach the top of the women’s pro peloton. I’ve been able to identify my areas of improvement, and I’m excited to focus on these and keep building as a pro cyclist and teammate. I’m looking forward to continuing to learn from my teammates!”
Llori Sharpe: “Before the tour, I certainly felt a mixture of excitement and nervousness. On the excitement side of things, I was eager to see how I’d fare over the seven days and with the tour also being the team’s last race of the season, I wanted to end it on a good note. Pertaining to the nervousness, this is pretty normal for me when heading into a race, as the environment can be a bit pressuring and stressful, but with the teammates and staff I have surrounding me, I tend to feel more at ease as the race draws nearer.
After the tour, I felt a sense of relief and accomplishment. It’s truly amazing what us cyclists put our bodies through, and I think completing the tour is something I can be proud of. As for the legs, I don’t think they’re happy with me and would much rather not have to move for a day or two!
I learned a lot about hydration during this tour. I already knew the importance of it, but with how much our DS stressed its significance, I made sure that I was on top of how much I drank before, during and after each stage.
Creating opportunities rather than waiting for them to come is something I want to improve on. I look at how my teammate Diane (Ingabire) made several breakaway attempts in stage 3 until one attack finally stuck, and her group had a long day out front. Not only was that admirable, but that’s something I would like to achieve myself.
Now, I feel exhausted but happy and satisfied. We were one of the only teams that finished with all riders, so that’s definitely something to celebrate. With the tour also being the last race of the season, it was truly special to share these final moments with everyone before we headed our separate ways.”
Daniela Schmidsberger: “I was super excited for the tour. In Giro Toscana, I felt that I was getting in shape, and I was motivated to show what I have learned throughout the season in Ardéche.
I was proud of myself for finishing the race and that we could influence how it was going. We attacked, we followed attacks, we were in the breaks. I was happy I could stick with the peloton most of the time and be there with Agua and Alex. I also improved my bottle delivery service skills! I can still improve in many aspects and am more motivated than ever to show what I learned in this first year.
After the last stage, we all were emotional since it was the last race with some of our teammates. But we enjoyed the moment together. My legs are hurting while lying in my bed right now writing this!”