13.05.2023 World-Tour, News, Race news
OH SO CLOSE FOR SORAYA PALADIN IN ITZULIA
Soraya Paladin came close to victory at Itzulia Women today when she sprinted to second place in Amurrio, Spain. CANYON//SRAM Racing had ridden the stage looking for opportunities to attack. Soraya and teammate Pauliena Rooijakkers had put in several hard efforts in the final hour of racing from a front group of just 25 riders. On the last climb, just 5km to the finish line, Kasia Niewiadoma’s explosive attack created a five-rider group, but it was also caught after the descent, with 2km remaining on the penultimate stage.
As the stage closed on the slightly uphill finish line, the leading group swelled to 12 riders, including Soraya and Kasia. Soraya covered a late attack by Marlen Reusser (SDW), but she was forced to launch her sprint then early. Soraya led until the final 75m before stage winner and GC leader Demi Vollering (SDW) overtook her.
Soraya says, “The final climb suited Kasia well. I went into the stage, aiming to save energy for the sprint. Before we reached the final climb, I saw there were still some strong sprinters in the group, and I had the feeling it was a good moment, so I counter-attacked a move from Pauliena. The attacks from Pauliena made the race hard and suited us.”
“As we reached the final climb, Alice (Towers) did a really strong lead out, and Kasia’s attack split the group, dropping the pure sprinters,” adds Soraya.
“We had done a recon of the final kilometres of the stage, and we all knew that positioning was key. The goal of the team was to take the roundabout in the front, but we didn’t do it. In the chicane, Reusser was in front and almost went the wrong way, and that meant I was left in front. I knew it was too early, but I had speed and a good gap from the others behind me. From there, I don’t know what happened behind me. I focused on my sprint. When I saw Vollering coming around, I was sad. It was close, and I was feeling good. I’m disappointed not to get the win for the team, but I am proud of how we raced. Tomorrow, we have to try again.”
After the second stage, Kasia holds her third place in the GC. Soraya gained some seconds in the GC but remains in eighth. Pauliena Rooijakkers is equal third in the mountain classification, Kasia third in the points classification, and Alice Towers is fourth in the youth classification.
HOW TO WATCH
The final stage of Itzulia Women starts on Sunday, 14 May, at 15:39CEST. The stage can be followed on Twitter with #ItzuliaWomen2023. The live broadcast starts at 18:00 on EITB.EUS and 18:30CEST on GCN and Eurosport.