In an action-packed Giro dell’Emilia Donne, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig of team FDJ-SUEZ clinched a stellar victory on the challenging San Luca climb in Bologna. Marta Cavalli, Ludwig’s teammate, followed in second, while Juliette Labous rounded out the podium in third place. The race marked an eventful day for the Team dsm-firmenich squad, with Labous securing a commendable finish despite pre-climb incidents.
The women’s course started in Carpi and concluded on the infamous San Luca, spanning a total of 103.5 kilometres. The race featured a predominantly flat initial 90-kilometre stretch leading to the foot of the San Luca climb, which had to be scaled twice. The pace was frantic from the outset, with numerous attacks keeping tensions high. Sophie Wright of Fenix-Deceuninck momentarily broke away mid-race but was swiftly reeled back in by the peloton ahead of the first ascent.
As the cyclists approached the San Luca, a crash interrupted the rhythm for Team dsm-firmenich, with Francesca Barale and Elise Uijen caught in the disruption. Though they rejoined the main group, the accident had already sapped their energy, making their team’s strategy a challenging endeavour. On the first climb, a blistering tempo by Sofia Bertizzolo shattered the field, reducing it to 13 riders, including Labous. It was on the second ascent that Uttrup Ludwig showcased her prowess, pulling away from the pack and crossing the finish line solo. It’s another win for the Dane after taking a pair of stage wins at the Tour of Scandinavia.
Labous lauded her team’s efforts, stating, “It was quite a fast race, and the bunch was quite nervous. The team did a good job keeping me safe. Unfortunately, there was a crash before the climb. I’m happy with the result and motivated for Tuesday where we will try our best for an even better outcome.”
Team dsm-firmenich’s coach, Albert Timmer, also praised the team’s performance: “The girls did a really good job of keeping Juliette safe ahead of the climbs. On the two ascents of San Luca, Juliette did her best and came away with a nice third place for us in the end.”
2023 Giro dell’Emilia result
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