Cédrine Kerbaol clinches solo victory in rain-drenched Durango-Durango

Cédrine Kerbaol seized a commanding solo victory in today’s Durango-Durango. The French cyclist launched a decisive attack from a breakaway trio, securing her win by a margin of five seconds before the chasing pair contested the remaining podium spots.

The race, stretching 113km, included various opening circuits, a sprint challenge at Alto de Miota, followed by three consecutive climbs in the final 30km that proved to be the battleground for today’s action. The climbers tackled Areitio, Alto de Goiuria, and a more challenging segment of Alto de Goiuria, before a swift descent to the finish line in Durango.

The early stages were marked by persistent rain, adding an extra layer of challenge as riders navigated the slippery roads. The peloton held together over the initial circuits and the intermediate sprint, maintaining a steady pace despite the unfavourable weather conditions.

Mid-race dynamics saw Lotta Henttala and Nina Berton break away from the group. Their lead extended to nearly a minute, but the peloton reeled them in with 25km to go, setting the stage for the climactic final ascents.

(l-r) Evita Muzic, Cédrine Kerbaol, Thalita de Jong

As the race hit the lower slopes of the final climb, team FDJ-SUEZ took the reins, with climbers Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Evita Muzic driving the pace and causing splits in the group. Muzic, along with Thalita de Jong, managed to gain a 15-second lead over the crest with 7km remaining.

Kerbaol, not far behind, bridged up to the leading duo during the descent. In the closing kilometres, she executed her winning move, distancing Muzic and De Jong to solo her way to victory amidst the rain-soaked streets of Durango.

Reflecting on her win, Kerbaol shared, “It was about finding the right moment to go. With the roads as slick as they were, it was as much about courage as it was about condition.” Her tactical choice on the descent proved crucial, earning her a memorable victory in the challenging conditions.

Cédrine Kerbaol
(Photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Evita Muzic, who secured second place, praised the tough competition: “Cédrine was just stronger in that final part. It’s races like these where you really see who can manage their efforts and who can take the risks.”

The race not only tested physical limits but also strategic thinking, with riders navigating both the demanding terrain and inclement weather, making for a compelling day of racing in the Basque Country.

2024 Durango Durango result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

Main photo credit: Getty