Annemiek Van Vleuten gives no chance to her rivals at the 6th Setmana Ciclista Valenciana

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Marta Cavalli accompanied her at the final podium

Annemiek Van Vleuten didn’t miss the opportunity to show who’s the stronger in the bunch this season, winning at the decisive third stage of the Setmana Cilista Valenciana with a solo cycling masterpiece, sentencing the final general classification and announcing her reign in the season if no one fixes it, after the Anna Van Der Breggen’s retirement.

Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig
Annemiek Van Vleuten
Marta Cavalli
From left Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Annemiek Van Vleuten and Marta Cavalli at the final podium. Photo Gómez Sport / Sprint Cycling Agency
1.- Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar)13:25:30″
2.- Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) +1:00″
3.- Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) +1:57″
4.- Ellen Van Dijk (Trek Segafredo) +2:29″
5.- Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)
6.- Katarzyna “Kasia” Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM) +2:35″
7.- Elise Chabbey (Canyon SRAM) +2:36″
8.- Silvia Zanardi (BePink) +2:38″
9.- Margarita “Mavi” García (UAE ADQ)
10.- Juliette Labous (DSM) +2:46″
11.- Ane Santesteban (BikeExchange Jayco) +2:47″
12.- Veronica Ewers (EF Education Tibco SVB) +2:49″
13.- Katrine Aalerud (Movistar) +2:53″
14.- Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek Segafredo) +2:55″
15.- Clara Koppenburg (Cofidis)
16.- Nadia Quagliotto (BePink) +2:58″
17.- Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) +2:59″
18.- Soraya Paladin (Canyon SRAM) +4:44″
19.- Floortje Mackaij (DSM) +4:56″
20.- Alexandra Manly (BikeExchange Jayco) +4:58″
21.- Camilla Alessio (Ceratizit WNT) +5:06″
22.- Erica Magnaldi (UAE ADQ) +5:43″
23.- Victoire Guilman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) +5:55″
24.- Eugenia Bujak (UAE ADQ) +6:18″
25.- Hanna Nilsson (Ceratizit WNT) +6:24″
6 Setmana Ciclista Valenciana top 25

The champion of the world was the fastest at the 1st stage

Elisa Balsamo imposed her pedal stroke at the first stage of the Setmana Ciclistica after the rwork control of her teammates in the bunch. The majority of fireworks on the stage came in the final 20km where a trio formed by Annemiek Van Vleuten, Marta Cavalli and Mavi García followed by Cecilie Ludwig, Ane Santesteban and Veronica Ewers went clear on the final climb, only to be caught by the chasing peloton with just 3km remaining. Naomi De Roeck (Bingoal Casino Chevalmeire), Antri Christoforou (Farto), Agnieta Francke (Sopela) or Erica Magnaldi (UAE ADQ) who finally won the mountains classification, were the other breakawayers of the day.

Elisa Balsamo 
Anouska Koster
Elisa Longo Borghini
Soraya Paladin
Silvia Zanardi
Elisa Balsamo crossing the finish line before Anouska Koster, Elisa Longo Borghini, Soraya Paladin or Silvia Zanardi among others.
1.- Elisa Balsamo (Trek Segafredo)3:00:30″
2.- Ruby Roseman Gannon (BikeExchange Jayco)
3.- Anouska Koster (Jumbo Visma)
4.- Alexandra Manly (BikeExchange Jayco)
5.- Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek Segafredo)
6.- Soraya Paladin (Canyon SRAM)
7.- Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo Visma)
8.- Silvia Zanardi (BePink)
9.- Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)
10.- Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)
1st stage Top ten
Neve Bradbury
Soraya Paladin
Pauliena Rooijakkers
Canyon SRAM
Neve Bradbury, Soraya Paladin and Pauliena Rooijakkers received the best team prize for Canyon SRAM. Giulia Allegranti

Canyon SRAM was the best team with Soraya Paladin in the 6th position: “In the first part of the race, Neve (Bradbury) and Alena (Amialiusik) were actively covering a lot of dangerous moves. We made a hard pace on the second last climb with Alena, Kasia (Niewiadoma) and Elise (Chabbey) which reduced the size of the peloton and worked in our favour for the final“, explains Paladin.

“Pauliena attacked going into the last climb and I managed to come back to the main group just before the GPM. After the downhill, we discussed again our plan and decided to stick with sprinting for me. We knew it was important to take the last roundabout in the first position. My teammates did perfectly and I have to admit I’m not 100% satisfied to get sixth. But I know we can improve from this“.

Trek Segafredo squad at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana with (from left) Tayler Wiles, Elynor Backstedt, Elisa Balsamo, Shirin Van Anrooij, Letizia Paternoster, Elisa Longo Borghini and Ellen Van Dijk.
Bunch scene in the valencian roads during the 1st stage.
Erica Magnaldi
Erica Magnaldi during her 45km long solo breakway
Pauliena Rooijakkers
Neve Bradbury
Soraya Paladin
Sandra Alonso
Silvia Zanardi
Erica Magnaldi
Elisa Balsamo
From left Pauliena Rooijakkers, Neve Bradbury, Soraya Paladin, Sandra Alonso, Silvia Zanardi, Erica Magnaldi and Elisa Balsamo as the classification leaders after the 1st stage.
Final 5km of the 1st stage.

Ellen Van Dijk confirms the Trek Segafredo superiority at the first two stages

The european champion Ellen Van Dijk won at the second stage after her breakway with Soraya Paladin. Althought the italian has a sprinter profile, she was more tired than Van Dijk at the last meters, but she could bring the leader’s jersey to Canyon SRAM anyway.

Ellen Van Dijk
Ellen Van Dijk smiles while winnig at the second Setmana Ciclista Valenciana stage.
1.- Ellen Van Dijk (Trek Segafredo)3:20:47″
2.- Soraya Paladin (Canyon SRAM)
3.- Marta Bastianelli (UAE ADQ) +3″
4.- Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar)
5.- Silvia Zanardi (BePink)
6.- Margarita “Mavi” García (UAE ADQ)
7.- Nadia Quagliotto (BePink)
8.- Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope)
10.- Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek Segafredo)
2nd stage top ten
Soraya Paladin
Soraya Paladin receiving the leader’s jersey. Giulia Allegranti
Katarzyna Kasia Niewiadoma
Kasia Niewiadoma with the sprints classification’s jersey.

It was a really hard but fun day” said Paladin after the podium ceremony. “I was feeling quite good before the sprint but she (Van Dijk) was just stronger. When you don’t win you can’t be 100% happy, but this does give a lot of confidence to our team“.

We were on fire, especially Elise and Kasia, and we came with numbers in the final part of the race. It was really nice to see how committed the team was and how we reacted after yesterday’s stage. At the point when I went, we had good numbers so it could have been any one of us that got away“.

Jeanne korevaar (Liv Racing XStra), Elise Chabbey, Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM), Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE ADQ), Marta Cavalli, Grace Brown, Marie Le Net, Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine), Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek Segafredo), Juliette Labous and Floortje Mackaij (DSM) made other escape attemps from the bunch before the one that succeed by Van Dijk and Paladin at only 13 km. to go.

Kasia Niewiadoma
Elise Chabbey
Sarah Roy
Soraya Paladin
Alena Amialiusik
From left Kasia Niewiadoma, Elise Chabbey, Sarah Roy, Soraya Paladin and Alena Amialiusik after the stage.
Eukene Larrarte
Iris Gómez
Beatriz Pereira
Sofía Rodríguez
Alba Teruel
Irene Méndez
Aileen Schweikart
From left Eukene Larrarte, Iris Gómez, Beatriz Pereira, Sofía Rodríguez, Alba Teruel, Irene Méndez and Aileen Schweikart were thwe Bizkai Durango squad at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana.
Ten last kilometers of the second stage.

Van Vleuten hits the road on the 3rd stage

Annemiek Van Vleuten
Annemiek Van Vleuten celebrating her victory. Photo Gómez Sport / Sprint Cycling Agency

The key stage of the week was won by Annemiek Van Vleuten after leaving everybody behind exhibiting her superiority. Only the winner of the race in 2017, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Marta Cavalli and Mavi García could keep her pace but only until the penultimate climb of the day.

It has been nice to see the team working so well after two days that have been harder for them. It has given me great joy to see them ride together, always ahead“, said the winner, who got time enough to assure the final general classification.

I knew that 17 minutes from the finish line, within the penultimate climb, there was a part at 7% and then it softened to five percent. As there was also a lot of headwind, it was a situation for the rivals that allowed them to take my wheel and no gap could be opened. I had some doubts about attacking from such a distance. I have asked Paula (Patiño) to set a strong pace with Katrine (Aalerud) continuity and in the 7% zone I’ve started and only García, Uttrup and Cavalli have endured“, continues Annemiek.

Something that I am very good at is keeping that rhythm as if I were timetrialing on the way to the finish line… and that is what I’ve tried to do. The radio didn’t work for me on the last climb, but with 2 km to go the car was able to get next to me, encouraging me and helping me, and it was a goosebumps finish“.

1.- Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar)4:07:46″
2.- Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) +1:07″
3.- Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) +1:51″
4.- Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) +2:27″
5.- Margarita “Mavi” García (UAE ADQ) +2:28″
6.- Ellen Van Dijk (Trek Segafredo) +2:37″
7.- Ane Santesteban (BikeExchange Jayco)
8.- Juliette Labous (DSM)
9.- Elise Chabbey (Canyon SRAM)
10.- Katarzyna “Kasia” Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM) +2:39″
3rd stage top ten.
Pfeiffer Georgi
Lourdes Oyarbide
Annemiek Van Vleuten
Elise Chabbey
From left Pfeiffer Georgi, Lourdes Oyarbide, Annemiek Van Vleuten and Elise Chabbey during the 3rd stage.
Annemiek Van Vleuten
Annemiek Van Vleuten during her final breaway.

Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek Segafredo), Anouska Koster (Jumbo Visma), Silke Smulders (Liv Racing XStra), Matilde Vitillo (BePink) and Alexandra Manly (BikeExhange Jayco) tried to escape for the bunch along the day before the final Van Vleuten’s attack.

women cycling bunch
The bunch at the Remolcador mountain pass.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig
Annemiek Van Vleuten
Marta Cavalli
From left Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Annemiek Van Vleuten and Marta Cavalli at the podium.

Marta Bastianelli takes her chance at the last stage

Valencia is definitively the lucky city for Marta Bastianelli, who won recently at the one day Volta a Valencia race too. This time Bastianelli defeated her compatriot Balsamo at the final sprint of the bunch with a discreet Lorena Wiebes in the 9th position, while Van Vleuten had no problem to consolodate her victory at the final overall.

Sarah Roy
Giorgia Baker
Susanne Andersen
Marta Bastianelli
Elisa Balsamo
From left Sarah Roy, Georgia Baker, Susanne Andersen, Marta Bastianelli and Elisa Balsamo at the last Setmana Ciclista Valenciana sprint.
1.- Marta Bastianelli (UAE ADQ)2:56:23″
2.- Elisa Balsamo (Trek Segaferdo)
3.- Susanne Andersen (Uno X)
4.- Georgia Baker (BikeExchange Jayco)
5.- Sarah Roy (Canyon SRAM)
6.- Silvia Zanardi (BePink)
7.- Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo Visma)
8.- Valentine Fortin (Cofidis)
9.- Lorena Wiebes (DSM)
10.- Martina Alzini (Cofidis)
Top ten of the 4th and last stage.
Gloria Rodríguez
Annemiek Van Vleuten
Soraya Paladin
Nathalie Eklund
From left Gloria Rodríguez, Annemiek Van Vleuten, Soraya Paladin and Nathalie Eklund during the Volta Comunitat Valenciana Femines 2022 4th stage of the 6th edition. Photo Gomez Sport / Sprint Cycling Agency.
Final podium with the differente classifictions leaders: from left Sandra Alonso, Karlijn Swinkels, Erica Magnaldi, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, Annemiek Van Vleuten, Marta Cavalli and Silvia Zanardi.

The escapes from the bunch during this last day were in charge of Teuntje Beekhuis (Jumbo Visma), Emma Langley (EF Tibco), Mieke Kroger (Human Powered Health), Lija Laizane (Eneicat), Danielle Shrosbree (CAMS Basso) and Grace Brown (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitauine).

Annemiek Van Vleuten dedicated her final victory to the soigneur of the team Gary Baños, who died recently, and to Amy Pieters, still in hospital after her training accident.

The Dutch roder declared that “truly, it’s amazing to realize that only four and a half months have passed since the hard fall I had in Roubaix, and that I was only able to leave the crutches behind in mid-December. It’s nice to start the season like this, being able to get a result like that so soon. It also takes a lot of pressure off me to see that the team and myself are back in such good shape“.

Last kilomemetrs of the 4th Setmana ciclista Valenciana stage.

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