The splendid summerish day in Gandia witnessed a clever and gutsy ride by 2 riders. Prior to the decisive move from the Danish Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, the peloton had gone at a high speed all through the stage, but, as the feared wind did not appear, the natural selection came to leave the strongest riders at the front after the 1st climb of the day (3rd category). The young Cervélo-Bigla rider succeeded in going solo after a second attempt, and after a few kilometres the Belgian Ann-Sophie Duyck (Drops Cycling Team) managed to catch her and they worked very well together till the finish line. In the bunch, Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-High5) won a tight sprint to Marta Bastianelli (Alé-Cipollini).
Here are some impressions of the protagonists today:
Ann Sophie Duyck: «I feel ecstatic about this win. I felt good, moved to the front in the second climb and thought: “bam, here I go”. I brigded to the Cérvelo rider and then we worked really well together. We saw that the difference was increasing so as the kilometres went by, we knew we could make it to the finish line. Something weird happened at the end though, and it was unclear we could make it to the finish both of us. The motorbikes in front of us were hesitating, talking to each other not knowing very well which was the correct turn in one of the final roundabouts, so that was about to cost us the race. Lucky me, I could win the sprint! This feels great, little by little I am becoming an all-rounder and not only a time-triallist. I am working towards that goal. This is my third victory, TTs aside, and it gives me a lot of motivation to go on working in the same way»
Bob Varney, Drops Cycling Team D.S. : «it’s our first UCI victory, it’s great. The team rode so well that we won the stage and we were also the best team. Ann-Sophie is a great rider, so professional! Maybe she is becoming a road rider because of being part of a British team now!»
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig: «yes, I am the race leader now but I have no idea if I can keep it. Honestly, I don’t think about it. it’s being a great way to start the season, but, you know, I have no pressure. Both in the World Tour or here. I just want to have a latin approach: relaxed, day by day, tomorrow does not exist»
Thomas Campana, Cervélo-Bigla manager: «we are loving it here in Setmana Valenciana. This race is perfect for us: good weather, good dates, very well organised … how come this race had not happened before? It is so good as preparation for the classics … I am so sure that if the race is on the following years, the rest of the top teams will come. In fact, some teams are deeply regretting not to be here! But sorry I cannot tell you which teams are those»
Tomorrow the stage moves south to Alicante. In theory, wind has to play a bigger role than today , there is terrain for attacks and for sure Wiggle-High5 riders will make the race hard to try to forget the disappointment experienced today. Don’t forget to follow all things Setmana Ciclista with us at #SCV2017. The race starts at 13.30h.