CANYON//SRAM Generation finished its first team time trial and first double-stage day as the Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées started today in Artiguelouve, France.
The opening team time trial was challenging as the team had only four riders to take to the 27.4km course. Finishing in 17th place, the official time gaps between each team were five seconds. Ricarda Bauernfeind, Agua Marina Espinola Salinas, Valentine Nzayisenga and Olivia Shililifa started the afternoon road stage at +1:20 on GC.
“We had a really good cohesion for our first-ever TTT, ” said Sport Director Adam Szabó.
“The first 16km were very fast, and the final was more hilly and technical. Racing with four riders was a challenge, but all in all, we can be proud of our effort. It was a really good learning experience for the whole team.”
Ricarda added, “The main focus in the TTT was to find a good rhythm, not drop the speed and to come together to the finish line. That meant we went into the afternoon road stage still feeling quite good.”
The afternoon road stage was a short 76.7km around Pau but still with over 900m of elevation gain.
“The race wasn’t that long, so it was quite fast from the beginning. Our breakaway of six riders formed on the second climb. At first, I thought the peloton would catch us, but we were quite fast in the downhill and then could work well together to keep a gap,” explained Ricarda.
“My focus was to make it to the finish line in this smaller group to move up in the GC. I couldn’t close the gap when the stage winner attacked on the final climb with 1km to the finish. I gave everything, and I’m really happy about the final result. Second on the stage and moving up on GC.”
Ricarda is now fifth in the GC at +1:26 behind stage winner and tour leader Kristel Doebel-Hickock. The CANYON//SRAM Generation rider jumped into a 2:40 minute lead in the Best Young rider classification. Teammates Espinola Salinas and Nzayisenga also moved up in the GC before tomorrow’s stage two.
HOW TO FOLLOW
The CIC-Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées can be followed on Twitter with #TourPyrénées and is broadcast daily on GCN and Eurosport.
Saturday 6 August | Stage 2 | Pierrefitte Nestalas – Arrens Marsous | 106.2km | Race start 13:00CEST | Broadcast 12:45CEST.
Sunday 7 August | Stage 3 | Lourdes – Lourdes | 115.7km | Race start 10:50CEST | Broadcast 10:45CEST.