Barbara Guarischi from CANYON//SRAM Racing today sprinted to second place at the UCI 1.2 Pajot Hills Classic in Gooik, Belgium. Despite back–to-back climbs and cobblestone sections all day, the remaining peloton from a field of 187 starters came to the line for a bunch kick. With a great lead out from her teammates Guarischi was second in the sprint, beaten by Annette Edmondson (WHT).
“I came back to the front group after the Muur van Geraardsbergen and in the final two circuits we saw that there were several teams attacking. We decided that Hannah (Barnes) and Alexis (Ryan) would go with these moves and look for an opportunity and be proactive in the attacks,” said Guarischi.
“We started with the plan to go for Tiffany (Cromwell) if it was a sprint but when she wasn’t feeling great the team worked for me. In one moment in the final kilometres, all of a sudden I saw four of my teammates in front of me. This is a great team feeling, you can’t imagine how nice it is. I’m disappointed I got put on the wind side of my own lead out train by the winner, but she was strong and I still am really happy with getting second. I have nothing to complain about. I’m happy with this today and the team was super.”
More than 88 riders were pulled from the race during the local finish circuits. Leah Thorvilson was in the final group that was forced to withdraw after 100km. “Tomorrow I’m flying home to US, so I’m disappointed this is how I’ve finished the first campaign in Europe. I found today tough on my confidence after my crash last week. I was surprised it affected me so much because in training I felt good on the bike riding with the girls, but in the race it was obvious it had an impact,” said Thorvilson.
“Each race I feel like I’ve progressed. From the first to the second race, to the next race, from week to week. Today I didn’t really hit my goals and I’m not accustomed to that. It’s hard not to dwell on not doing well today even if I have progressed a lot since Omloop van het Hageland in February. I’m happy though that the team got a podium and I’m looking forward to sharing that with them tonight.”
The team will now race the spring monument Ronde van Vlaanderen on Sunday 2 April. The roster for CANYON//SRAM Racing will be announced tomorrow.