This Gran Premio was decided on the last climb, the Usartza (4,3 km with 8,8%). After several attacks of Annemiek van Vleuten, one of the favourites for the victory, it was World Champion Anna van der Breggen who took the initiative and went solo to the finish. Van Vleuten passed the finish line after 16 seconds and Elisa Longo Borghini became third.
The Gran Premio Ciudad de Eibar is known for its altitude metres. In combination with today’s rainy weather conditions, it was a tough day. In the early break-away of 10 riders was Karol-Ann Canuel represented. Their maximum lead was 3 minutes, but they get caught before the final climb of today’s course.
It was the Movistar-team who set pace for Van Vleuten, who soon attacked and was followed by Van der Breggen and Longo Borghini. As those three riders were not agreeing to work together, a group of eight riders could come back. Once again Van Vleuten tried to get away, and once again both van der Breggen and Longo Borghini could follow. European Champion van Vleuten gave it a final try but this time van der Breggen set pace and the European Champion had to let go the World- and Olympic Champion Van der Breggen.
With a smooth pace she went in the direction finish line and had time enough to celebrate this victory. After Omloop Het Nieuwsblad and the Flèche Wallonne it was her third victory in this season.
“It was our goal to ride for a good result with Ashleigh. Unfortunately, Ashleigh, Anna and I crashed, and so Ashleigh was not able to follow. I’ve waited on the last climb but when I saw that Ashleigh was not there anymore, I’ve tried myself”, says Van der Breggen. It’s the first race after the Ardennes Classics for Van der Breggen. “I’m very happy that it worked out! Maybe I’m a little bit surprised as well that I’m able to win after a short period at home, in the Netherlands. It went pretty well. I didn’t expect this win”.
Photo credits: Getty Sport