Hannah Ludwig conquers Navarra Women’s Elite Classics with a formidable solo finish

Hannah Ludwig of Cofidis Women celebrated a stunning victory at the Navarra Women’s Elite Classics today, completing the 135.6km circuit from Pamplona back to Pamplona in a commanding solo fashion. The German powerhouse made her decisive move 23 kilometres from the finish, right before the final ascent of Muro de Arlegui, and held on to clinch the win ahead of a spirited chase pack.

Arlenis Sierra of Movistar secured second place with Shirin van Anrooij of Lidl-Trek taking third, both trailing in the wake of Ludwig’s impressive late attack. The race unfolded with a series of aggressive climbs, challenging the peloton with nine steep ascents, including the pivotal Muro de Arlegui which set the stage for Ludwig’s race-defining move.

The day’s racing saw multiple attempts to break away, with Ludwig’s move proving to be the most decisive. Earlier ascents had seen the peloton whittled down by attacks from notable riders including Liane Lippert of Movistar and Elena Pirrone of Roland, who both showed their strength on the climbs but were ultimately reeled in by the determined peloton.

As the race entered the final kilometres, the tension built with Ludwig holding a slender but crucial lead over the hard-charging group behind her. Despite the efforts of the chasers, they could not close the gap to Ludwig, who powered through to victory.

Behind Ludwig, the race for the remaining podium spots was fiercely contested. Sierra and Van Anrooij emerged from the chase group to secure their places, each delivering strong finishes to cap off the challenging day. Ultimately the chase groups repeated slow downs to try and assess the politics of the chase proved to be their downfall. Neither Sierra nor Van Anrooij have won so far in 2024 but both have secured a trio of podium finishes.

Ludwig, radiant at the finish line, shared her thoughts on the day’s racing: “Today was about finding the right moment and trusting my strength to maintain the lead. It was an intense race with the climbs, but knowing I could handle them gave me the confidence to attack when I did,” Ludwig explained, reflecting on her strategy.

Ludwig dedicated her performance to her team’s collective effort: “The team was incredible today, setting me up perfectly for that final push. It’s not just my win; it’s a win for the whole team,” she noted, acknowledging the support of her teammates.

2024 Navarra Elite Classics

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Main photo credit: Getty