Stage two of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana was always going to be a tough one with 126 kilometres and over 2000 altitude metres. The pace set by the biggest teams and in the final hour by stage winner Anna van der Breggen was very high. Unfortunately Emily Wadsworth and Eva Jonkers didn’t make the time cut. Julia Borgström and Rozemarijn Ammerlaan finished in the second group. Britt Knaven, Charlotte Kool and Cathalijne Hoolwerf also finished this hard stage with three climsbs
We knew beforehand that today would be very hard and that we had to make sure to be near the front of the bunch to get as far as we could. The pace was really high right from the start and it didn’t slow down for the rest of the day.
On the second climb of the day, the Puerto de Benifallim, I was a bit too far back and got dropped with Britt and Cathalijne. Julia was riding very strong in that first group. I managed to get back to the group with Julia on the climb but got dropped again. I was in a group with about 15 riders and we worked together to get back to the first group again on the last climb, the Tudons.
Julia and I got dropped on the last descent but I managed to get her and myself back to that second big group in the race. That’s where we finished. I am completely empty now but we did push our limits, that’s for sure.
Sports director Kelvin Dekker looks back upon an epic day.
It was a constant battle and a new experience for everyone. Of course it’s sad to see Eva and Emily leave the race. However, I want to give a big thumbs up for our first year rider Julia. She was among the best U23 riders of the day. Impressive.