Arianna Fidanza takes first win of the year at Women Cycling Pro Costa De Almería

Heidi Franz

Italian Arianna Fidanza got her 2023 season off to a flying start with a sprint victory at the Women Cycling Pro Costa De Almería. Racing for Ceratizit-WNT for the first time, Fidanza was able to outsprint the likes of Emma Norsgaard, Audrey Cordon-Ragot and Eugenia Bujak after around 135km of racing. It’s Arianna Fidanza’s first UCI-level victory since the 2019 Tour of Taiyuan.

Although the course always looked like finishing with a sprint, there was plenty of climbing to negotiate along the way. Chances were that some big names might falter along the way with early season form in the legs still. The peloton had to tackle 3 categorised climbs – Alto Río de Aguas (3.3 km at 3.9%), Alto Cuervas de Sorbas (1.9 km at 5.7%) and the Alto de la Geoda de Pulpí (6.6 km at 4%).

Aranza Villalon of Chile won last year’s inaugural Women Cycling Pro Costa de Almería, but it wasn’t a UCI race in 2022. This year saw the Spanish event raised up to a 1.1 level. Disappointingly, we saw no live images from the race and little in the way of text updates even. From the snippets we did get, we know that Heidi Franz of Zaaf Cycling had the break of the day. The American spent 100km at the front of the race on her own and impressively, hung on to the front group to finish 10th as well, just 3 seconds behind the winner.

Pre-race favourites like UAE Team ADQ’s Chiara Consonni and Human Powered Health’s Alice Barnes were dropped on the final climb and had to settle for lower finishing positions than they had hoped. Luckily they both had teammates in the front group to secure strong finishes. For UAE Team ADQ it was Eugenia Bujak who finished 4 and for Human Powered Health, it was their new signing Jesse Vandenbulcke in 7th.

Women Cycling Pro Costa de Almería 2023 Results

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