“I wasn’t too nervous surprisingly. I think I decided to just grasp the opportunity and aim to nail the process goals with a new group,” explained Sarah Roy after her CANYON//SRAM Racing teammates led her out for the anticipated bunch sprint finale of Setmana Ciclista – Volta Comunitat Valenciana Fèmines.
“We haven’t raced together until this week and big bunch sprints aren’t an easy thing to navigate so it was a really good opportunity to learn a lot there today. I focused more on that than getting a result which can make me really nervous,” said Sarah.
The Australian rider sprinted to fifth place on the final stage in Valencia won by Marta Bastianelli (UAE). Teammates Kasia Niewiadoma and Elise Chabbey each jumped up a place to finish the four-day tour in sixth and seventh in the general classification behind winner Annemiek van Vleuten (MOV).
“Alena did an amazing job riding so fast on the front to make the catch to the solo leader and keep it hard for the chasing group coming from behind with some other sprinters that were dropped after the climb. Pauline was also there helping us,” added Sarah.
“In the final five kilometres, Kasia and Chabbey made sure I was in a good position and out of the wind. With a bit over one kilometre to go, Soraya took over keeping me safe. My aim was to be top five out of the last roundabout about 350 metres from the line. Into that roundabout, Soraya took the inside line. Although it was the perfect move, it surprised me a bit so there was a gap to her wheel but I ran at it which could have been the ideal lead-in to my sprint but I hesitated and that lost us the race,” admitted Sarah.
“In sprints like these, that’s all it takes. Fifth is okay but I don’t want to make that mistake again. I can see what we are capable of now, and I have gained so much confidence in the team and in myself. We communicated well and have learned a lot more about each other. I really believe we will continue to build on this in the next races together.”
Like most of the women’s peloton, CANYON//SRAM Racing head north to Belgium to race the traditional opener to the spring classics, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, on Saturday 26 February. It will be a double race day for the team with the 2022 UCI Esports World Championships on Zwift held the same day.