Elisa Balsamo Secures Victory in Trofeo Alfredo Binda

Italian cyclist Elisa Balsamo, riding for Lidl-Trek, triumphed in the 25th edition of the Trofeo Alfredo Binda. The race unfolded on Italian terrain a day after Milan-San Remo, with Balsamo prevailing in a sprint finish against a formidable group of competitors, including world champion Lotte Kopecky and a highly active Puck Pieterse from the Netherlands.

The Trofeo Alfredo Binda, named in honour of cycling legend Alfredo Binda, has been a staple on the Women’s WorldTour calendar since 1974. This year’s race showcased a roster of top riders, including Kopecky, Silvia Persico, Mavi Garcia, Juliette Labous, Marta Cavalli, and Dutch contenders such as Pieterse and defending champion Shirin van Anrooij.

The race dynamics saw numerous breakaway attempts, with riders like Clara Edmond and Jade Wiel making early bids for glory. Emond’s solo break lasted for around 40 kilometres before gradually being whittled down just before the cameras started rolling.

The serious race moves began with Pieterse’s bold move on the Casale climb which ignited the action, drawing attention from the peloton and setting the stage for a thrilling finale. Niamh Fisher-Black’s subsequent effort to bridge to Pieterse added to the race intensity, but the peloton remained vigilant, ultimately reeling in the breakaways as the race neared its conclusion.

Fisher-Black recreated that move with a turn of speed herself which proved mightily tough to close down for her competitors. Shirin van Anrooij had to bury herself to bring the remnants of the peloton back up to Fisher-Black’s wheel before the summit and descent.

As the riders tackled the final climbs and descents, Mareille Meijering briefly seized the spotlight with a daring solo move. She stayed clear for a long time on the descent, with again Shirin van Anrooij working hard to close with Marlen Reusser on her wheel. However, her hopes were dashed in the closing kilometres, setting the stage for a decisive sprint finish.

In the thrilling finale, Balsamo’s impeccable positioning and explosive sprinting prowess propelled her to victory, outmanoeuvring Kopecky and Pieterse in a captivating dash to the finish line. Having sat on Kopecky’s wheel whilst teammate Van Anrooij was working up front, it was clear that Balsamo was going to back herself to beat Kopecky to the line. When Kopecky kicked, Balsamo was right with her and had enough to come out and power past to celebrate her 2nd Trofeo Alfredo Binda victory. Puck Pieterse rounded out the podium in 3rd place.

Elisa Balsamo celebrates
(Photo credit: Ossola)

Reflecting on her achievement, Balsamo highlighted the significance of winning such a prestigious race, emphasising her love for the event despite its formidable challenges. Balsamo expressed her elation, stating, “If this is a dream, please don’t wake me up!” She credited her team’s strength and strategic support throughout the gruelling race, particularly during the challenging final laps and ascent, where she endured considerable pain before launching her winning sprint.

Balsamo’s victory adds to her impressive season tally, reinforcing her status as a formidable force in women’s cycling. With previous wins in the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana and notable performances in classic races like the Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Ronde van Drenthe, Balsamo continues to make her mark on the sport.

Lotte Kopecky about finishing 2nd: “I’m quite satisfied with this. Of course, you always want to win, but Elisa was just faster. So I can perfectly live with this. “I travelled to Italy at the last minute, and it’s not like I thought: I’ll quickly take control of this race. It’s not that simple, even though sometimes it seems people think so. I haven’t reviewed the sprint yet. I really had to push when I went. Elisa Balsamo was simply faster. Of course, you always want to win, but it doesn’t always happen. So I’m satisfied with this result. This was the first time I raced Trofeo Alfredo Binda. It’s completely different from a Flemish classic, but I think it’s a beautiful race.”

25th Trofeo Alfredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio 2024 - Women's Elite
Lotte Kopecky, Elisa Balsamo, Puck Pieterse
(Photo credit: Getty)

Pfeiffer Georgi said the following about her 5th place: “The team did a really great job of putting me and Juliette in a position to race and we made it into the select group on the last lap. From there, Juliette focused on attacking and I more on the sprint, which I messed up slightly getting a bit boxed, but nevertheless am satisfied with fifth place. I was happy to have the good feeling back after some bad luck recently so this gives me confidence for the rest of the spring.”

2024 Trofeo Alfredo Binda result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

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