In a day marked by tactical calls and sheer resilience, Cédrine Kerbaol of Ceratizit-WNT emerged victorious at the Vuelta CV Féminas, etching her name in the records of the race with a solo finish that left the peloton trailing. The French cyclist’s triumph was the culmination of a breakaway effort that saw her navigate through the tumultuous final kilometres, marred by crashes and chaos, to claim victory ahead of a fiercely competitive field.
The race unfolded under the Spanish sun, with Kerbaol breaking away alongside Julie Bego of Cofidis and Caroline Andersson of Liv-AlUla-Jayco (racing for their Continental team here) at the top of the Frontera. However, it was Kerbaol’s strategic foresight and indomitable spirit that saw her forge ahead alone, as her breakaway companions fell behind when Andersson crashed.
Kerbaol’s victory is particularly poignant for the Ceratizit-WNT team, coming in a season filled with anticipation and promise. Kerbaol has increasingly become an instrumental figure on the team, with her Tour de France Femmes white jersey last season a peak. Reflecting on her win, Kerbaol praised her teammates’ efforts, attributing her success to the collective strength and strategy employed by the team throughout the race. They broke up the chase group repeatedly, getting involved in key positions only to soft pedal disrupting the efforts of Human Powered Health and Movistar to close the gap. The gap was at around 20 seconds with 20 km to go, and should’ve been a formality from that point.
The race’s climactic moments were defined by a series of unfortunate crashes that fragmented the peloton, allowing Kerbaol to extend her lead and ultimately cross the finish line in a triumphant solo effort. The likes of Arlenis Sierra, Marta Lach and Victoire Berteau went down and Audrey Cordon-Ragot suffered a late puncture. Despite the best efforts of teams like Movistar, who had hoped to set up a win for their riders in the chaotic final kilometres, it was Kerbaol’s day to shine, as she navigated through the urban circuit of Valencia with determination and a well-paced effort. The final sprint saw Raaijmakers securing second place, with Piergiovanni close behind, marking a thrilling end to a race that had the spectators on the edge of their seats.
2024 Vuelta CV Feminas result
Results powered by FirstCycling.com
Main photo credit: Biel Aliño (Efe)