In the third round of the Women’s World Tour Lauren finished in 9th place, winning the bunch sprint behind the select 8 rider breakaway. This is Lauren’s third top 10 result in the WWT for 2016, showing her consistency over varied courses. The Trophoe Alfredo Binda in Cittiglio in Northern Italy is a tough race with longer climbs with little recovery making this round favourable to the climbers of the peloton. This year there was a new climb added to the finishing circuit which as predicted made the race even tougher then before.
“It is a really tough race, there is a long 4-5km climb in the first part of the race and now in the finishing circuit there is to just the 3km Orino climb we have 4 times but also a shorter but stepper 1km climb just after the finish line”
“I really wanted to go well in this race because it is hilly and I have been working on this area in training, I am very happy to finish in 9th place, I wasn’t good enough when the eight riders went to follow, but I wasn’t too far off and this gives me motivation to work harder so maybe next time I can go also”
Lauren’s 9th place maintains her top ten ranking in the World Tour and gives her a confidence boost heading into Belgium’s cycling week. Next up is the fourth round of the World Tour in Belgium next Sunday for Gent- Welvegem before Pajot Hills on Wednesday and the big one of The Tour of Flanders on The following Sunday.
“Im exactly where I need to be form wise heading into Flanders, it would be something special to get a good result there. I have the form now its just about it all coming together at the right moment”
Lauren has continued to show her strong form in round two of the Women’s World Tour yesterday by finishing 8th in The Ronde van Drenthe in The Netherlands. The 138km race was vastly different to round one in Tuscany last weekend with long cobble stone sections, wind and a short man made climb over a rubbish tip being the main obstacles in a majorly flat course.
“This is always such a tough race, it is quite long for us, I think one of the longest races we have all year, the race is always on small roads and it is very nervous in the bunch, it is always a fight to be at the front, particularly before the key cobble stone sections”
The race split apart on the cobbles with a break of 4 going clear with still 70km to go. However this strong break had nearly all the major teams represented and stayed away until the end with Chantel Blaak of Boels Dolmans taking the win. Lauren finished 4th in the bunch sprint to finish 8th in the race, making this her 3rd top 10 result in 10 days.
“I’m really happy with 8th today, to be honest I didn’t feel great today, I found the cobbles hard and I suffered more then I would have liked, but that makes this result even more encouraging heading into the next World Tour races” “My teammates rode 100% for me and I am really thankful for their support, I think we have a respectable result and I am looking forward to continuing the good feeling in the team in the next races”
Lauren will line up again today in Drentse 8, a UCI 1.2 race in The Netherlands before a week of preparation for round three of the World Tour in Italy next Sunday.
“The weekend is not over yet and we have another chance today, I have good form so its about taking the opportunity when it comes, I hope it is sooner rather then later!”
Photo: Sean Robinson/Velofocus
Strade Bianche may not have a long history but the unique nature and challenging course offered a fantastic event to open the UCI Women’s World Tour (WWT) yesterday in Siena, Tuscany. The WWT is made up of 17 events across the season and offers a stage for the pinnacle of women’s cycling to perform at the top level. All events must include either live coverage or a TV package of the race in order to boost the media profile of the sport.
Strade Bianche’s first women’s edition was held in 2015 and while Lauren and her Hitec Products’s team didn’t take part it was a great event and a race Lauren really looked forward to this season. The iconic race was 121km long and included just over 23km of gravel roads looping around the Chianti vineyards to the south of Siena. While the gravel roads provide a challenging obstacle, the rolling climbs and limited flat roads makes this event one of the hardest on the calendar.
“I really was looking forward to Strade, It looked like such a cool race last year and with it being World Tour this year I had this as my first goal for the Spring this season. I went into the race with a goal to be top 10, I really wanted this but I also was a little unsure as I didn’t know where I was at form wise on the longer climbs and against such a top level field.”
photo: Matt Attard
Lauren continued to make each selection over the first 5km climb then over the next two long gravel sections to be apart of the front 35 riders after 70km of the race. The next 4 gravel sections were short but included very steep climbs and this is where Lauren forced herself into the selection of riders that formed the chase group behind the leading trio of World Champion, Lizzie Armistead, European Champion, Kasia Niewadomia and Swedish Champion, Emma Johannson. The chase group swelled form 7 riders to 14 in the closing 5km of the race with Lauren eventually finishing in 9th place in Siena for a good days work.
“Im really happy with this result, it was my first goal of the Spring and to be up there with the best in the business on such a hard course, it shows my form is just where it needs to be for this part of the season and it gives me confidence for the next few weeks and the next WWT events”
Lauren now turns her attention to the Ronde van Drenthe, which is the next round of the WWT taking place in The Netherlands next weekend.
The video highlights of the race can be seen here:
Photo: Cycling Tips
Lauren continued to show her strong form ahead of the opening Women’s World Tour race this Saturday with a 9th place in Le Samyn des dames today in south of Belgium. The semi-classic was a challenging race with high winds along with rain showers greeting the 190 rider peloton. The course consisted of a 62km opening lap followed by 2 X 25km finish laps. The finishing lap included 4 cobbled sections along with 2 categorised climbs. The cobbled sections proved challenging, splitting the group each lap.
“I take confidence from today’s performance, I got into the selection of 21 riders that went in the wind early on, then in the final I had some mechanical problems that did cost me, but that’s racing and I know that my time will come”
Lauren had to have a bike change only a few kilometres before the first cobbled climb, which lead to a lengthy chase back tot he front group. “for sure I used a lot of energy then, but that’s part of it, I am happy I could get back in and still contest the finish”
Lauren found herself unable to follow the front 8 riders on the last lap through the three starred cobbled section and won the sprint for 9th place. Next up is Strade Bianche on Saturday and this marks the start of the UCI Women’s World Tour, the top division races for the women’s elite peloton.
“These first three races in Belgium have been a fantastic beginning for me to prepare for the WWT, these next races are big goals for me and I know now my form is right where it needs to be”
Lauren travel’s to Italy on Friday morning for an early race on Saturday morning around Sienna, Italy on the white gravel roads of Strade Bianche.
Pic : Matt Attard