2020, for better or for worse, will be a year to remember. A complicated season due to the Covid-19 emergency that has stopped the whole world of sport and made it difficult to resume activity. Despite this, the Alé BTC Ljubljana women’s team has been able to make a name for itself on the roads all over the world, achieving important results, including 11 victories. Sunday 8th November in Madrid, with the last stage of the CERATIZIT Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta and Marta Bastianelli’s third place, the 2020 season came to an end and the time has come to take stock.
The first victory of the year came immediately in February, with the Italian champion Marta Bastianelli inaugurating the season by winning the Vuelta CV Feminas, in Spain. Then two second places in Belgium, which bode well for the Classics season, but the Covid arrived and cancelled a good part of the calendar and in hiccups, it was only possible to return to cycling in summer.
In the second phase, two great successes came from Slovenia with the road title won by Ursa Pintar and the time trial title by Urska Zigart, which brought back smiles and hope after difficult months. The double national title also in Spain, thanks to Mavi Garcia, able, in August, after an excellent Strade Bianche, to win both the road race and time trial. The Spaniard, galvanised by the successes achieved at home, also won two stages (the first and the second) at the Tour Cycliste Fémenin International de l’Ardèche a few weeks later. The Thai Jutatip Maneephan also confirmed herself as national champion in her country, where she won two stages and the final classification of The Princess Maha Chackri Sirindhorn’s Cup Women’s Tour of Thailand in October, bringing the total number of successes achieved this year by the Italian team to 11, which was confirmed as one of the world’s top teams.
Alessia Piccolo, president of the Alé BTC Ljubljana team, commented: “This year more than ever the girls and the entire staff deserve a big round of applause because, despite the many difficulties of this complicated season, they have managed together to be a real team, to always honour the races in which we took part and also to collect some beautiful and important victories that have allowed us to be among the best teams in the world. I’m proud of them and of the message of confidence in the future that the whole world of cycling has been able to give in recent months. Our project continues to grow and I am sure that in 2021 we will take another important step with our team”.
Alé BTC Ljubljana’s team manager Fortunato Lacquaniti concluded by saying: “It has been a difficult and complicated year, but I think the balance sheet can only be positive. We won straight away in Spain at the beginning of the season, then, on the restart, there were other important results and 11 successes that put us on the world podium in terms of the number of victories by the team. An extraordinary result if we also think about injuries and illnesses that have limited the activity of our athletes. We showed important performances, bringing to the fore athletes like Mavi Garcia, who has a great potential to express, or the very young Maaike Boogaard who has grown a lot this year. It was the first season for us as a WorldTour team, we had changed eight-elevenths of our team and this means that there was, first of all, a group to rebuild that is certainly not an easy thing. We succeeded. I would like to thank the staff and the athletes who put a lot of heart and head into it, as well as the legs. A very difficult year, but one that we have overcome with great professionalism. I would also like to think about our Thai athlete Jutatip Maneephan who, due to the pandemic, couldn’t come to Europe this year and we have practically never seen her. In spite of this, she has shown great professionalism, running at home and also giving us four victories”.