Movistar’s new signings got their 2023 season off to a great start by finishing 1st and 2nd in Valencia at the Vuelta CV Feminas. Two of the biggest marquee signings of this off-season were able to go clear on the La Frontera climb in a small group and then play their cards perfectly to ensure they maximised their result. The peloton raced 93km from Paterna to Valencia and the parcours had been massively changed from previous years to include some serious climbing. With the summit of the climb 40km from the finish though, the stage was set for either the climbers to hold off the sprinters or be caught and we’d revert to the usual sprint.
The climb of La Frontera saw the peloton get smashed to pieces. The early attack of Nikola Noskova was caught just before the summit but she was able to join in with a group that contained Clara Koppenburg, Erica Magnaldi, Liane Lippert and Floortje Mackaij. Driven by the Movistar pair, the group were holding a gap around 40-50 seconds ahead of a chasing pack led by Audrey Cordon-Ragot and Mareille Meijering. The Zaaf pair allowed Nikola Noskova to sit on ahead and be a passenger.
As it became clear the front group was going to stay clear, the Movistar pair began to attack and counter-attack. First Mackaij attacked, Lippert waited and allowed Magnaldi and Koppenburg to chase whilst Noskova sat on. When Lippert bridged across, Noskova has fresh enough legs to come with her but not when Liane Lippert rode over the top having caught up to Mackaij. Lippert’s attack didn’t amount to much as Mackaij bridged too early and simply brought Noskova back into play again. The next roll of the dice was by Floortje Mackaij and this time the move stuck. All it took then was for Lippert to outsprint Noskova for the finish line.
“You couldn’t really ask for a better start to the season. The way we raced today is the reason why I love cycling. Doing it alongside this group, with a friend like Liane by my side – it was a fantastic day. We went the five of us at Frontera and there was a moment when we decided to play our cards individually and just not go to a sprint. We knew that Liane was fast, but both of us can deliver a good result in such circumstances, and with attacks, we had more cards to play. I think it played out well in the end.
Reaching the line solo and enjoying is probably the best way to achieve a victory. This gives me so much morale heading into the classics season, though I will have to more races here in Spain, in Almería (Saturday 11th) and the Setmana Valenciana (16-19), to enjoy the sun of this country. Who do I dedicate this to? There’s so many loved ones I’ve got in mind right now, but undoubtedly, this has to go to the whole Movistar Team, for the way they’ve taken care of me so far. It’s a true family.”Floortje Mackaij
Vuelta CV Feminas 2023 results
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