After a whole day in the breakaway Katia Ragusa finished on the podium of Paris-Roubaix Femmes at the Velodrome in Roubaix.
Almost 30 kilometres of cobblestones spread out over 17 sectors were waiting for the peloton during the third edition of Paris-Roubaix Femmes. Katia Ragusa went on adventure with a breakaway of 18 riders. The leaders took a five minutes advantage, but that gap tumbled down when the pre-race favourites accelerated in the background.
In the meantime Ragusa made a very strong impression. The lead group got smaller and smaller after every section. The gap with the chasers went down to only ten seconds, but still the escapees kept going and managed to keep out of the claws of the chase group. In a thrilling sprint on the Velodrome in Roubaix Ragusa took a very nice second place behind Alison Jackson.
“We had the plan to go in the early breakaway, but never had thought we could come this far. But sector after sector we started to believe that we could make it till the end. In the final kilometres it was really close. The chasers almost caught us, but then suddenly the gap became bigger again. I tried to anticipate in the final kilometre, but didn`t have much left in the legs. In the sprint I tried to position as good as I could and aimed for the podium. To finish second in this iconic race is really amazing. Honestly I still can`t believe it really happened. I really enjoyed being on the podium and receive the small cobblestone. This feels as a reward for all the hard work”, a happy Ragusa told after the race.
Of course sports director Wim Stroetinga was a happy and satisfied man after the race. “Our plan was executed to perfection today. We wanted to be in the early breakaway to anticipate before the race favourites would go. We didn`t expect that a large group like this would get so much space from the bunch. Katia was really impressing on the cobbles, she was one of the strongest riders in the front. In the sprint Katia did an amazing job finishing second, it feels like a victory for us to be honest. This is a big motivation and confidence boost for the team.”