Paris - Nice
Nairo Quintana went close to repeating Marc Soler’s 2018 epic performance by hitting out on the race’s eighth and final stage to Nice. Featuring six classified climbs over a short 110km route, Nairo attacked the GC group to link up with teammates Héctor Carretero, Winner Anacona and defending champion Marc Soler who were present in a 37-strong breakaway.
At several points during his attack Quintana moved into the virtual lead on several occasions, but with race leader Egan Bernal being ably shepherded by Team Sky behind, the Colombian wasn’t able to overhaul his countryman's time advantage. Quintana and Movistar Team will be reassured by a strong performance that saw their team leader finish on the final podium in second spot.
We wanted to take team riders to the front to then try and attack into one of the climbs, take advantage from their strength at the front and create a ‘one to one’ situation between Egan Bernal and myself. We had three of my team-mates into the break, from which Marc Soler was the strongest and could push for a nice chunk at the front, and then it was a good fight until the end for me. We didn’t win the race, but we’ve tried all that we could in this final stage, where we thought we could take those chances.
Para-Cycling Track World Championships
Denise Schindler picked up two medals during the Para-Cycling Track World Championships in Apeldoorn to add to her trophy cabinet. In her favoured discipline, the 3km pursuit, Denise qualified strongly for the gold medal final, but was beaten to the rainbow jersey by Australia’s Paige Greco. After racing in the Omnium test event, Denise rounded out her championships with a bronze medal in the Scratch Race.
Ronde van Drenthe
The Women’s WorldTour returned on Sunday with its longest ever race, the 166km Ronde van Drenth which featured ten cobbled sections and three ascents of the VAMberg
– a steep climb through a former landfill site which also features 200m of cobbles for good measure.
Raced in heavy rain and strong winds, the peloton split and reformed into smaller bumches early on before Bigla’s Maria Vittoria Sperotto launched a solo move with a little over 90km to go. The Italian quickly established a lead of 1:40, before being swept up as she headed for the second trip over the VAMberg. Movistar Team Women’s Malgorzata Jasinska came home in 20th with Lizzy Banks was first rider home for Bigla in 25th position. The Women’s WorldTour heads south for the Trofeo Alfredo Binda in Italy next weekend after the peloton’s next appointment in the Low Countries at Wednesday’s Nokere Koerse.
Drentse Acht van Westerveld
Friday’s Drentse Acht van Westerveld was raced in blustery conditions which resulted in only 36 riders reaching the finish in Dwingeloo after 145km of racing. A lead group of 14 broke clear in a crosswind section and quickly built up a substantial lead, but unfortunately Bigla's contingent missed out on the race winning move. The team’s Danish rider, Julie Leth was the only member of the six strong squad that made it to the finish in 13th spot.