UCI Women Road World Cup: Guarischi’s perfect weekend
Barbara Guarischi (Velocio Sram) stormed in to win the bunch sprint at the Sparkassen Giro, round 7 of the UCI Women Road World Cup, easily leaving Lucinda Brand (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) and Emilie Moberg (Hitec Products) behind her. The Italian had a clear bike length lead over her chasers as she crossed the finish line in Bochum.
It’s two wins in as many days and as many countries for the Italian sprinter, after taking the top spot on the podium at the London Prudential Criterium outside Buckingham Palace less than 24 hours earlier.
British Champion Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) retains the overall lead of the UCI Women Road World Cup ahead of Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda) and Anna van der Breggen (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team). 20 year-old Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) still leads the best young rider classification.
Niewiadoma also picked up this round’s Suffer Prize, presented by the Sufferfest for her mutiple attacks.
The sun was shining in Bochum for the 2015’s edition of the Sparkassen Giro where 153 riders took the start of what it was to be a fast and furious 124-km war of attrition. The course was largely flat, with only one 600-metre climb right in the middle of the 15.5-km lap, followed by two 90-degrees turns in the descent.
One minute of silence was held in the memory of Chiara Pierobon, aged 22 of team Top Girls Fassa Bortolo, who passed away suddenly yesterday, while on her way to Bochum.
The race was off to a fast pace with an early short lived attack from Claudia Lichtenberg (Team Liv-Plantur) before getting caught by a hungry bunch at the start of the second lap.
Sparkassen Giro included mountain primes to spice things up, the first of which won by Christine Majerus (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team).
This attack was enough to split the peloton in the technical downhill section, with riders fighting hard to get back on to the front. This was going to be the pattern for the 7 laps to come.
The action began to heat up with 40-km to go with an attack from British Champion Lizzie Armistead (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team). Her efforts were enough to create a strong lead group including Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team), Emma Johansson (Orica AIS), Alena Amialiusik (Velocio Sram), Katarzyna Pawłowska (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team), Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda) to name a few, but the speed was too high for them to stay clear.
With a little over one lap to go, Hanka Kupfernagel (German National Team) who won the race in 2007, attacked, followed by Shara Gillow (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team). Both riders were caught as the bell announced the start of last lap: the race was going to be decided in a sprint.
It was Barbara Guarischi and her Velocio Sram lead out train who led out the charge to take the win ahead of Lucinda Brand (Rabo liv Women Cycling Team) and Emilie Moberg (Hitec Products) getting up for third.
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