The third and final stage of the Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta today in Madrid closed the 2020 season for the Alé BTC Ljubljana team. It ends with an excellent third stage place for Marta Bastianelli, preceded in the sprint by the winner Elisa Balsamo (Valcar Travel & Service) and the Dutch Lorena Wiebes (Team Sunweb), and with the eighth place in the final general classification of the young Dutch Maaike Boogaard. They closed in the top 20 of the day the same Boogaard (18th) with the Slovenes Eugenia Bujak (16th) and Ursa Pintar (17th). The Dutch had already finished in ninth place yesterday in the second stage, a time trial in Boadilla del Monte and today, with the help of her teammates, she managed to maintain a position in the final top 10.
Satisfied with her third stage place Marta Bastianelli, at the end of a complicated season: “It was a very fast race and we had aimed everything on the final sprint and also to help Maaike [Boogaard] to maintain a place in the top ten of the general classification. Personally, I’m definitely not in the best physical condition, in fact, we honestly didn’t even think about the podium. But experience shows that your head always allows you to push yourself beyond your limits and so I’m still happy, more than for me I have to say for the whole team. Because I know that I have to get back in condition and I’ll bet everything for next year, but I’m happy for the team because it’s always a good showcase to win a podium in an important WorldTour race like this and we ended up happy after the bad period we’ve been going through lately”.
The team manager of the Italian team Fortunato Lacquaniti adds: “I would say very well these results after almost a month that we were no longer racing because of problems related to the Covid-19. Excellent the podium of Marta Bastianelli and important also the fact that a young rider like Maaike Boogaard has succeeded in reaching the final top 10 of such a prestigious race. Despite the condition wasn’t at the top we have shown that with the heart and the head it’s possible to obtain good results”.