Liv Racing can look back at a more than successful Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa. Sabrina Stultiens finished fourth. Pauliena Rooijakkers, who was in the breakaway for most of the race, pushed her Liv Langma to seventh place. Annemiek van Vleuten took the win.
The one-day race (139 km) in Spanish Basque Country broke open on the Jaizkibel. Pauliena Rooijakkkers attacked with Ane Santesteban and Evita Muzic and created a good situation for Liv Racing. Three more riders joined them a bit later: Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Olivia Baril and Tatiana Guderzo. The six went into the final together.
On the steep final climb (Murgil Tontorra), with the top at nine kilometres from the finish, Cordon-Ragot attacked. Meanwhile, behind the original leading group, the depleted peloton (including several Liv Racing riders) increased the pace. Annemiek van Vleuten rode to the front of the race.
The Dutch rider was the first to reach the top of the Murgil Tontorra and rode solo to the finish in San Sebastian. Behind her, small groups reached the finish line. First one with Sabrina Stultiens (fourth) and Pauliena Rooijakkers (eleventh). Not much later Jeanne Korevaar (eleventh) and Marta Jaskulska (eighteenth) crossed the line.
Strong on the Murgil Tontorra
“We had said beforehand that we had to be alert on the Jaizkibel. It was to be expected from there that the race would open up. We could create opportunities for ourselves. Pauliena did that very well. She attacked, so the rest could save themselves for the final”, says sports director Eric van den Boom.
“Towards the end, you know that anything can happen. A group can always come back from behind. That is what happened. Fortunately, we were very well represented in the chasing. Our riders showed on the Murgil Tontorra that they are very strong. It was a question of seeing if we could survive this steep climb. From there it was a fast downhill to the finish.”
Photo credits: Cor Vos