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GIRLS - Vuelta a Andalucía: la stoccata di Arlenis Sierra

Photo@Gomez Sport / Sprint Cycling Agency

Photo@Gomez Sport / Sprint Cycling Agency

Photo@Gomez Sport / Sprint Cycling Agency

Mijas (Spain) - wednesday 4 may 2022 - A path not free of obstacles, yet victorious all the same. Movistar Team showed again its form and character as the dominating team in the 2022 Vuelta a Andalucía, and led Arlenis Sierra into yet another success at the end of the 119km trek between Málaga and Mijas, the holder of the yellow jersey going through numerous setbacks en route to victory.

A series of crashes -which affected both Sierra and Katrine Aalerud, fortunately with no consequence for either- and a second incident where the Cuban champion and her team-mates had to swivel past a bidon and narrowly missed another crash, both conditioned the approach to the Alto de la Mar (Cat-3), the key point with 9km to go. A series of attacks from UAE - ADQ, including one from Sierra's big rival, Spanish champion García, forced the Blues to use their full arsenal of resources. Gigante, Martín, Erić and most notably a brilliant Aalerud and Patiño -who remains in 4th overall- brought back the dangerous move and kept Arlenis well protected all the way to the finish so she could seal the success.

With no bonus seconds available in this race, the GC standings remain a tie between García and Sierra, who takes the Movistar Team up to 12 victories in 2022 -seven from the women's squad-, a figure that could be increased on Thursday should they get safely through a long (139km), demanding final stage between Fuengirola and Castellar de la Frontera, over the Gaucín (Cat-1; 7km @ 7%) as biggest difficulty of the Ruta del Sol.

 

REACTIONS / Arlenis Sierra

"Despite those two setbacks that I suffered -a silly crash, which forced me to stop and fix my bike, and then that bidon I was able to narrowly avoid-, and the energy it cost me to get back to the peloton (which I missed in the end), we as a team were able to keep the best position at the crucial points and climbs. I want to thank the whole group, because they did so well; the whole staff, mechanics, soigneurs -- we're so happy about what we're achieving in this race. I know it will be a tough day tomorrow, but we'll give our best and won't surrender until the last finishing line.

"When Katrine was into the break with Mavi and the other UAEs, my team-mates reacted in a very precise way. Jelena pushed really hard, then Paula kept the pace high and there even was a moment when we thought about asking Katrine to drop back and assist them, but then I thought it wouldn't play to my advantage to have my own group getting back to the front, I had to attack. It was better to keep Katrine in front and look for the appropriate distance to launch my move and get back. I achieved it, and once it all came back together, Paula helped me keep things under control. It was such great work from Katrine, Paula... Everyone. I stayed calm in the finale, taking all responsibility. I entered the last kilometer in second, third place, Bauernfeind attacked and I went after her. I had to take the best position going into the sprint and it all turned out well - even better than expected, considering those setbacks.

"We must take things in a very relaxed way tomorrow, avoid any nerves, do things right so it can go the way we want it to go. If we get through the final climb, there will still be a long way to the finish, and we must not get frustrated if someone goes ahead. The race will be hard for us, but if we're able to keep the group as close together as possible, we can control any moves and seal that overall success."


RESULTS stage 2

1. Arlenis Sierra (Movistar)

km 118 in 3h22’57” average 34.885 km/h

2. Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon Sram)

3. Mavi Garcia (Uae Team Adq)

4. Nadine Gill (Sopela)

5. Paula Patino (Movistar)

6. Erica Magnaldi (Uae Team Adq)

7. Katrine Aalerud (Movistar) a 20″

8. Andrea Ramirez (Massi Tactic)

9. Antri Christoforou (Team Farto Btc)

10. Marte Berg Edseth (Norvegi

 

GENERAL CLASSIFICATION

1. Arlenis Sierra (Movistar)

2. Mavi Garcia (Uae Team Adq)

3. Ricarda Bauernfeind (Canyon Sram) a 15″

4. Paula Patino (Movistar)

5. Nadine Gill (Sopela) a 17″

6. Antri Christoforou (Team Farto Btc) a 1’22”

7. Ursa Pintar (Uae Team Adq)

8. Katrine Aalerud (Movistar)

9. Marte Berg Edseth (Norvegia)

10. Nicole Frain (Roxsolt Liv Sram) a 1’32”

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