CANYON//SRAM Generation finished Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia today with Ricarda Bauernfeind taking third place on the stage and third in the general classification.
“It‘s still unbelievable for me to finish every day on the podium. After the first stage, I was already super happy and couldn’t believe it but now even more so. It’s like a little dream I’m in,” said Ricarda.
The final stage was shortened from 139km to 82km after a traffic accident earlier in the morning on the race circuit. The two categorised climbs remained and the peloton was reduced to 30 riders after the first climb, and initially just four riders on the second climb.
Ricarda explained, “The stage was just 82km so the first climb started after only 10km of racing. Agua (Espinola Salinas) especially did a really good job before the climb positioning me so I could start the climb at the front. After the first climb, we were in small groups and Agua’s group could close the gap to mine so it was good to have her by my side. Then, the second climb was very, very hard with some steeper parts and it was also very hot. I fought hard to stay in the first group which was just four riders, but on the downhill, some riders could close the gap again. In the final, they started to attack a lot but luckily I could follow them. I’m happy to get third place in the sprint.”
Ricarda was delighted to maintain her third place in the general classification.
“I was quite nervous today because I wanted a good finish for the stage race and wanted to keep third place in the general classification for the team. When you are so close to it you don‘t want to do any mistakes. You can have bad legs and you can’t control that, but you also need to have some luck. Fortunately, I had quite good legs also today. The whole stage race was just super nice. It was hard, but we learned a lot as a team and it’s good preparation for the next step and even bigger races that are coming.”
Read the reactions of Ricarda’s teammates below.
AGUA MARINA ESPINOLA SALINAS
“I think we can be really happy with this tour. We all improved a lot and we can see a huge development from the first races of the season to this one. We have learned a lot. I’m happy and proud of my teammates. Ricarda’s performance also inspired us as a team to work together even more. I’m really happy, even surprised, with my own tour. At many moments I was able to climb with really strong riders whereas in previous seasons I was a long way behind. I need to keep working on my ability to follow and make punchy attacks. I have new goals coming out of this tour, but I’m very happy with this race for myself and the team!”
“The team performed extremely well I’d say. This was our first stage race for the season and not only were we able to come out with great placements, but we all learned and grew as a unit. For me, initially, I was really overthinking the racing a bit, but luckily I have some great mentors from the CANYON//SRAM Racing team (Tiffany & Chloé) who both advised me to simply relax and take each stage a day at a time.”
“It was a great race. Hard! But I enjoyed racing with my teammates. I have things to work on but I keep working hard and I will get there.”