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Victory for Marta on the Flèche Wallonne

Victory for Marta on the Flèche Wallonne

Marta Cavalli, victorious at the top of the Huy wall

Today was held one of the monuments of women’s cycling, the 25th edition of the Flèche Wallonne, which Marta Cavalli won by beating Annemiek Van Vleuten (MOV) and Demi Vollering (SD Workx). A great day for the team, which saw its riders ride together and aggressively throughout the 133.5km of the race.

Marta Cavalli, already victorious ten days ago in the Amstel Gold Race, looks back on her race: “It was a crazy race today, with an even crazier finish than the race itself. A big breakaway s formed in the second part of the race but I had a strong team behind me. The whole team rode together and tried to close the gap. We finally joined the breakaway before the Cherave coast. At that moment the real struggle began. There were a lot of attacks on the penultimate climb, but I got to the top with the first riders. In the final climb of the Mur de Huy, I tried to keep the best position and I was at the wheel of Annemiek Van Vleuten (MOV). She was going up at a very fast pace but I knew how to stay with her. In the last 500 meters, I had good feelings and I tried to stay calm and cool-headed and just focus on my feelings. I’m very happy because in the last meters I tried to attack Annemiek and to do my sprint if I can say so, and it worked because I was able to widen the gap and beat her! It’s not usual because she is one of the strongest riders in the peloton. It’s a great satisfaction for me because as I said after the Amstel, I worked a lot this winter with Flavien and the whole team! We developed a lot of things, on the material, on the bikes, and yesterday we chose the lightest components, and we took care of all the little details, it’s great teamwork. I must say a big thank you to everyone, and especially to Stephen who trusts me every day.”

Brodie Chapman, who did a lot of work so that the peloton, and therefore Marta Cavalli, could come back to the breakaway told us about the race: “La Flèche Wallone was a great team effort. Stine and Eugénie were early in the ahead and made sure we were all in a good position before the Côte de Cherave. A big crash set us back a bit but Jade brought us back to the peloton perfectly, just in time for the climb! Not one but two breakdowns mechanics on the rough roads came at the worst time for Evita, it was quickly sorted out but it caused us to miss the breakaway She and I worked hard to close the gap and launch Marta on the final ascent of the Wall de Huy knowing that she had what it took to go for the victory. She did it, and it feels good!”
She adds, the winner of the Grand Prix de Chambéry this Sunday adds: “It’s such an incredible feeling to know that we have won a Flèche Wallone. We put all our trust in Marta for a good reason. She is intelligent, she is strong and she wants to win. We all played our part today and that’s what makes this victory so collective.”

Cédric Barre, sporting director for the event, looks back on this victorious day: “It was a race, how can I put it… we had to change our plans a little at the last minute following a fall at kilometre 55. disorganized the team because we had 3 riders involved in the fall, including Stine a little more than the others, we ended up with more than 5 and unfortunately our three girls who were delayed by the fall found themselves at the foot of the first big difficulty of the day, the Côte de Cherave in the last positions and so it was an extra effort to put in. Then we were annoyed with Évita who had mechanical problems at a bad time, a breakaway came out, and that should have been his role with Brodie, but we missed the boat, we found ourselves in a very delicate situation because there were gaps of around two minutes with the breakaway of a dozen girls including favourites. We had to take our responsibilities and react, to put Brodie and Evita rolling to close the gap. We were helped by other teams including Movistar and we were able to arrive at the foot of the Cherave / Huy sequence, with an almost grouped peloton, an ideal situation. We were in trouble and we managed to reverse the situation. And then Marta applied the instructions to the letter since she had been asked to save herself in the bumps and wait for the last climb, which she managed masterfully since she didn’t panic. She made the effort at the right time, she waited, waited, … and delivered the coup de grace in the last 150 meters. The collective work was incredible, Brodie was monstrous, and Marta wrapped up the victory perfectly!
5 girls were impacted but still united! The regret remains Stine who was delayed because we lost an element.
To conclude, today we experienced incredible emotions!”

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