The NXTG team is currently in sunny, and very hot Spain for the four-day stage race Volta Valenciana. On day one the team with Britt, Julia, Emily, Catalina, Amelia and Mylène struggled with the heat. On day two, three of the riders were in the top 20 with Catalina coming in eighth, Amelia in 14th and Julia in 17th place. Catalina recalls:
I believe the second stage went really well compared to how bad I rode and felt on stage one. The heat took away everything I had and I could not push. For this stage I focused on making sure my body was cool and I was hydrated. I received many tips from my teammates and I just had to put them to practice. I’m proud because I learned so much and I know now what I have to focus on when the heat is high. I know it may be the basics but you have to get the basics right before anything else. Top 10 in a stage just shows me that what I was doing is right and tells me I’m able to perform and adapt to different weather conditions. I’m grateful for the team staff that makes sure we are comfortable and cool before, during and after the race. Motivates you to go even deeper as they do so much hard work.
Unfortunately Britt had to abandon due to illness and NXTG continued with five riders on day three where the team had a fantastic result! After some stellar teamwork Mylène sprinted to a third place!
Halfway into today’s stage there was a huge crash with almost the entire peloton, including all of us. That was chaos and it was a struggle getting back to the bunch from between the cars. We managed to do that, apart from Emily. In the final the breakaway was caught and there were some more attacks. Julia, Amelia and Catalina did an amazing job keeping me at the front of the peloton.
In the final kilometre I still had Catalina with me and in the final 500 metres it was full gas. I managed to keep the wheel of Alice Barnes and Sheyla Gutíerrez and came in third behind them.
Sports director Brent Van Ballenberghe:
The team performed the plan to perfection today. There were 60 riders on the deck in that crash and Mylène even broke her bike. Unfortunately, Emily didn’t manage to get back but the other three did a perfect lead-out for Mylène who was our dedicated sprinter today. Mylène doesn’t get a lot of chances like this but if she gets them, she takes them. We finish third behind two World Tour teams and that makes me proud to be a sports director in this fantastic team.”
The Tour of Valencia ends on Sunday with a very challenging mountain stage to Alicante.