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Women’s Team of the Week: Youth and Experience Edition

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Races

The vecchia donna of the calendar, Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio (WWT3), to give it its full name; plus a mere stripling, the first edition of Nokere Koerse.

Coverage

Decent for Binda (if you channelled out the rather loquacious commentator). Not enormously good, unfortunately, highlights here. Mobiles on the finish line at Nokere Koerse.

Riders

  1. Marianne Vos: Rider of the week. Ah, it’s like the good old days. Marianne is back or, as Rai commentator and former rider Giada Borgato put it, she never really went away. This was classic Vos, sitting in second wheel, vigilant of attacks, strongest in the sprint.
  2. Ashleigh Moolman: Vos might still have won even if the bunch had caught the front group a moment earlier but, as Jens pointed out, her teammate gave her a much better chance. Moolman, who was active throughout the race, chased down a late attack from Anastasia Chursina and kept the leaders just enough ahead.
  3. Amanda Spratt: and
  4. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig: Both benefitted from teammates’ efforts earlier in the race then tried to attack once Niewiadoma had forced a selection on the final climb. Neither got away, though, and Vos’s finishing speed was too much. Still, they managed to stay clear of the on-rushing peloton, finishing second and third respectively.
  5. Lorena Wiebes: After a slow(ish) start (not least due to the cancellation of Westhoek, where she was second last year), 2018’s undisputed queen of the SSR got her first win of the season in the first women’s edition of Nokere Koerse.
  6. Teniel Campbell: Riding for the UCI’s World Cycling Centre team, the Trinidadian got on the VDS score sheet with 5th in the same race, following up 15th the other week at Le Samyn. The UCI (rightly) gets a lot of stick, but its women’s development team is successfully giving riders from non-traditional cycling countries great opportunities and having a noticeable impact on races.

Honourable mention

American 17 year old Megan Jastrab, widely tipped as the pre-race favourite, who won Binda’s junior race Trofeo da Moreno in a sprint.

Team of the week

CCC. Team work wins Binda (see also Kasia’s supposedly ‘solo’ win last year, which her teammates set up perfectly). CCC were the only team with two riders left in the final group of eight, and the Vos-Moolman combination brought back memories of super strong Vos teams in the past (as did the orange jerseys).

Another honourable mention

Parkhotel Valkenburg got the win at Nokere Koerse with Wiebes and then made themselves visible at Binda with a fun attack from Demi Vollering (in her first WWT race) and a top 20 finish for Meike Uiterwijk Winkel.

Not team of the week

With Anna and Annika still mountain biking in South Africa, Boels were fairly anonymous at Binda. Karol-Ann Canuel appeared at the front a few times, Chantal Blaak—their most consistent rider so far this season—finished 11th. That was more than Trek-Segafredo, however, who vanished almost completely after Tayler Wiles’ early efforts.

Women’s cycling mythology corner of the week

Pre-race the Binda organisers honoured Marianne Vos as a ‘legend’ of the race for her ten participations and three wins. Marianne is always very nice about this sort of thing, though it must feel weird having your career celebrated like this before it’s even over. A fourth win, of course, is the best answer.

That said, TotW likes Binda’s awareness of its own history and is fully behind Audrey Cordon-Ragot’s call for it to be recognised as a Monument. Let’s face it, it has pretty much everything: a long history dating all the way back to, oh, 1974, a course which suits more than one type of rider and tends to produce exciting racing (which let’s face it, not all men’s monuments necessarily have), a good turnout from locals, and—these days—decent live coverage. Gone is the threat of calendar clashes from upstart races (hello, Gent-Wevelgem) and it benefits hugely from the ‘spare’ day in the men’s calendar after Milan-Sanremo.

So… a double monument weekend, right? What’s not to like?

FSA VDS

bsmashers’ Arya Stark Rising still has the lead, though Vos’s win at Binda has propelled hiddenwheel’s That good enough, I think so, into second. More than good enough, even. Special shout to Luctor Emergo, sole player with Teniel Campbell on the team. (Luctor also has Vos, so it’s been a very good week.)

Draft

A week off for Marta Bastianelli hasn’t shaken Vlady from the top spot.

WWT Predictor

Mr Verbiage won Binda (if TotW has read the spreadsheet right…), Shawn has the overall lead. Two WWT races coming up this week: Driedaagse Brugge-De Panne (Friday Thursday) and Gent-Wevelgem (Sunday).