Pikulik Powers to Victory at Ronde de Mouscron Amidst Tactical Team Triumph

Daria Pikulik clinched her first win of the season at the Ronde de Mouscron, delivering Human Powered Health’s inaugural victory of 2024. The 27-year-old Polish powerhouse surged across the finish line at the end of the 122.5km Belgian classic, her triumph the culmination of a day marked by impeccable teamwork and relentless pace-setting.

The race featured multiple laps of a 24 km circuit threading through the exposed landscapes surrounding Mouscron. The intense competition saw leading teams, including Lidl-Trek, Ceratizit-WNT, Fenix Deceuninck and Human Powered Health, drive a fierce pace throughout, ensuring the peloton remained compact and the action unceasing.

The race suffered a neutralisation for an hour after just 12km. A large crash saw all of the race ambulances used, effectively leaving no cover for the race. Riders like Fien Delbaere were later confirmed to have a fractured ankle. Once the ambulances returned, the racing was able to resume.

Despite numerous attacks, the good conditions and lack of any real serious challenges meant that breaks were shortlived. Indeed it was the pace set by the Women’s WorldTour teams that saw some of the lower-level riders struggling to keep up, along with crashes dotted throughout the day. Joss Lowden and Alison Avoine were involved in 2 separate incidents and looked visibly distressed afterwards. We await an update as to their condition.

Uno-X led out the final sprint, taking charge from around 4-5km out. Lidl-Trek were left exposed with Ilaria Sanguineti losing her leadout and having to make a big effort to close up. Race winner Pikulik ended up positioned optimally in the fourth wheel on the crucial rising false flat that led to the finish. As Ahtosalo kicked, Pikulik came round the other side with a much more explosive effort leaving the race win in no doubt. Her explosive sprint down the left side of the road saw her overtake Anniina Ahtosalo and Martina Fidanza, sealing the win with her signature celebratory gesture.

The victory was made all the sweeter by the unity displayed by Human Powered Health, with team members who competed in the Tour of Flanders the previous day such as Audrey Cordon-Ragot and Lily Williams joining the effort off the bike, assisting with logistics and sharing in the celebration.

“It feels really good to win, and it was a great team effort, so we are really happy about today,” Pikulik expressed, underlining the collective effort that defined the day. “The girls did a perfect job to protect me in the wind and also to cover attacks all day,” Daria Pikulik added, acknowledging her teammates’ instrumental support.

Giorgia Bronzini, stepping into the role of Team Director, shared her pride in the team’s performance. “I see a team today working hard for a goal. I see a step up every day, and I’ve never felt this before. For me, it’s my first victory, and I’m convinced there will be more and more results,” she remarked, highlighting the day as a turning point for the squad.

2024 Ronde de Mouscron result

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

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