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.”
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!”