Tanja wins the sprint classification in Durango

Tanja Erath

Tanja Erath won the sprint classification today in the one-day race, Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria in Spain. The CANYON//SRAM Racing rider secured the classification after the fourth of five intermediate sprints at the mid-point of the race.

“Our team plan was to save our climbers in the fast local laps and position them well going into the final climbs. If possible, one of the non-climbers could go for the sprints,” explained Erath after the podium.

“I felt very strong today. The first three laps I’ve been in almost every move and also attacked solo twice right after the sprints. Knowing I took the win in the sprint classification already in lap four I didn’t need to contest the fifth, and I could save a bit of energy to pace the girls into the climb.”

“Lisa (Klein) and I did a proper lead out, leaving me quite breathless going into the climb. From then on, my main task was to stay within the time limit so I could make it to the podium. I could really feel the sprint efforts in my legs during the climb, but I managed to pace it well until the finish.”

Erath continued, “I am very pleased with the classification win actually. Even though a sprint classification sounds like a sprint, this time the line was on top of the climb of every local lap. To have the gas to be well-positioned and then be able to go for the sprint each time leaves me very optimistic about my improvements in the uphills.”

Omer Shapira and Alena Amialiusik were the two designated climbers for CANYON//SRAM Racing and both showed strong performances during for each, their second race of the season.

“I felt much better today. I was relaxed and calm, and managed my feelings well,” said Shapira. “I also adapted my hydration and race preparation and it helped that it wasn’t quite as warm as Thursday. I’m happy with my ride. I’m still not there with the very best climbers, but it’s a process and I’m very happy with my improvement.”

Amialiusik also noticed the rapid improvement from race to race.

“I felt much better compared to Thursday’s race. I had a very active race from the beginning until the end. I was at the front and only lost contact with the lead group on the last steep climb. I feel like it’s all going by plan and I am working in right way.”

The Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria race was won by Annemiek van Vlueten (MTS), making it three in a row for the Dutch world champion. CANYON//SRAM Racing will now look towards the UCI Women’s WorldTour race, Strade Bianche to be held in Italy on Saturday August 1.