CANYON//SRAM Generation had its first-ever overall team win today when Ricarda Bauernfeind stormed to victory at GP Cidade de Pontevedra in Spain.
Set up by her teammate Agua Marina Espinola Salinas, Ricarda attacked the final climb and created a three-rider breakaway that would go on to fight for the victory in the second race of the Spanish Cup series. After being out-sprinted in a similar situation one week earlier, Ricarda said she was determined to learn from that experience.
“I didn’t want to make the same mistake as last weekend. We had passed the finish line six times and I knew there was a strong headwind in the last 400m. I waited until the last moment, around 100m to 75m to go, and then I started my sprint,” explained a delighted Ricarda after she crossed the line with more than two bike lengths to spare.
On the first of two climbs, Ricarda took the mountain points and created a split in the peloton with 35km remaining of the 99km race. A twenty-strong lead group was created including Ricarda and teammate Agua Marina. Two riders broke away during the final lap and Espinola Salinas worked hard to reduce the advantage ahead of the second and final climb, Alto de Portelina.
“I wanted to go for the mountain points again, and we had a team plan that the final climb would be a good moment to attack. We hoped it would create a small group that would stay to the finish which is what happened” said Ricarda.
“Agua kept the pace high so the gap was within reach to the two leaders. I was in a perfect position and I climbed at a good speed. On the steeper part of the climb I attacked to win the mountain points and this created a split which meant we were just three riders after the descent. We worked very well together to reach the finish.”
Ricarda continues, “I really wanted the win for the whole team, for all riders and staff. I waited patiently and then I put in everything I had to win this race. I believe the win is a big motivation for the whole team and the upcoming races. It also shows that all the riders and staff are all doing a great job to work together for a goal.”
Teammate Llori Sharpe had a crash in the final lap but was able to continue riding while Alia Mansor was forced to withdraw from the race due to back pain.
CANYON//SRAM Generation has had a phenomenal start to its first year. Valentine Nzayisenga added to that yesterday when she finished seventh in the U23 road race at African Continental Championships in Egypt. With other podiums at several races and U23 and mountain classification wins already, individual podiums at nationals by Olivia Shililifa and a win at Tour de Lunsar by Deborah Conteh, the victory today from Bauernfeind was the first overall win in a team race. Despite being the unofficial leader in the Spanish Cup, Bauernfeind will not wear the leader’s jersey as it must be worn by a rider from a Spanish team.