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Re: 2018 Women's WorldTour
« on: June 28, 2018, 16:42 »
The Bira started while California was still underway, and most stars of the women's peloton opted for the Basque Country, giving the race a stellar startlist.

And things happened on stage 1 already as #boels Anna van der Breggen, #mts Annemiek van Vleuten, #bigla Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, and #waowdeals Sabrina Stultiens went on the attack over the Atagoiti climb. But the group didn't cooperate in the final, and while Stultiens put her head down and attacked for a solo win, the three top favourites were caught by what remained of the peloton.

Cyclingnews reporting:
Emakumeen Bira: Stultiens takes opening stage
Stultiens: I just went all-out in the last kilometre

Stage 2 was a long ITT, and as expected #mts #rainbow Annemiek van Vleuten won the stage and took the #white race lead.

Emakumeen Bira: Van Vleuten wins stage 2 time trial
Van Vleuten takes control in Emakumeen Bira after time trial victory

It rained for most of stage 3, and when a break of ten with riders from most of the big teams went with ~40 km to go, nobody was eager to bring them back. #waowdeals Pauliena Rooijakkers embarked on a long, but ultimately unsuccessful solo, and #boels Amy Pieters won the sprint of the group. #mts Georgia Williams was the virtual leader for a long time, but eventually missed the lead by three seconds when she was gapped on the final kilometre, leaving #white on van Vleuten's shoulders.

Emakumeen Bira: Pieters wins stage 3
Breakaway has its day on stage 3 of Emakumeen Bira

With two climbs of the Urkiola (first the longer and harder side cresting with 50 km to go, and the easier side until 12 km to go), the final stage was the hardest of the race.
#mts Spratt started the first Urkiola climb in a group a bit ahead of the peloton and put the pedal to the metal from the bottom. Behind her, the trio of #boels van der Breggen, #mts #white van Vleuten & #bigla Moolman-Pasio distanced everyone else and reached the top 35" behind Spratt.
But while Spratt soldiered on, the three musketeers took it a bit easier, allowing riders to get back from behind and giving Spratt a solid lead of up to three minutes.
At the finish, the Australian still had 2'12" to the peloton (Zabelinskaya and Longo Borghini had gone on a rather pointless chase and finished second and third on the stage), meaning that Spratt won the race overall too, ahead of van Vleuten and van der Breggen.

Spratt wins Emakumeen Bira
A perfect day out for Mitchelton-Scott at Emakumeen Bira

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  • Cyclingnews Women's WorldTour Correspondent
    2017 0711|CYCLING PR Manager; 2016 Stölting Content Editor
    Views presented are my own. RIP Keith & Sean


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