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Lauren Stephens Secures Victory at Clásica de Almería Classic WE

Clasica de Almeria 2024 - 2nd Edition - Puebla de Vícar - Puebla de Vícar 102 km - 25/2/2024 - Lauren Stephens (Cynisca Cycling) - Yuliia Biriukova (UKR - Human Powered Health) - photo Carlos Barba/SprintCyclingAgency©2024

American cyclist Lauren Stephens, representing Cynisca Cycling, clinched triumph at the Clásica de Almería Women’s Edition, emerging victorious after an exhilarating duel against Ukrainian rider Yulia Biriukova from Human Powered Health.

The race, unexpectedly influenced by strong winds, witnessed numerous attempts to splinter the peloton, injecting a sense of unpredictability into the competition. Connie Hayes from Doltcini-O’Shea displayed early bravery with a solo breakaway almost from the starting line, thinning the leading group to just 10 riders before the outskirts of Adra.

The relentless pace set by Laboral Kutxa gradually whittled down the lead group further, particularly on the ascent towards the 2nd category Aljibe de la Cruz climb. Stephens, Biriukova, and Adèle Normand from Eneicat forged ahead, with Normand claiming the mountain classification thanks to her consistent efforts throughout the central phase of the race.

Linda Zanetti leads home group 2
(Photo Credit: SprintCyclingAgency)

However, Normand couldn’t match the tempo set by her two companions, and eventually absorbed back into a favourites group comprising approximately 20 cyclists. Holding a 25-second advantage and aided by favourable winds, Stephens and Biriukova maintained their lead, arriving in Puebla de Vícar with a comfortable gap to contest the victory, eventually claimed by Stephens in a sprint finish.

Behind them, a shattered chasing group arrived, with Italian rider Linda Zanetti of Human Powered Health leading the sprint for the third spot on the podium. Meanwhile, Carolina Vargas from Eneicat-CMTeam secured the intermediate sprints classification, breaking a tie at the finish line. Esra Gokcek from Soltec Iberoamérica was the highest-placed Andalusian, while Connie Hayes’ early attack earned her the Combativeness award.

2024 Clasica de Almeria WE result

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Main photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency