26.03.2017 – CANYON//SRAM raced today at the fourth UCI Women’s WorldTour race in Belgium and at the first French MTB Cup in Marseille, France. While Pauline Ferrand-Prévot finished second in the MTB race, her teammate Lisa Brennauer sprinted to fifth at Gent-Wevelgem.
Gent-Wevelgem was surprisingly decided in a bunch sprint but it wasn’t without several changes in situation throughout the 145km race. After significant splits in the peloton each time over the Kemmelberg it was attack after attack in the final 30km of the race. Attempts for breakaways failed despite several efforts from various sized groups with a strong headwind in the final kilometres negating many efforts. The race was won by Lotta Lepistö (CBT) from Jolien D’Hoore (WHT) with Lisa Brennauer officially fifth.
Director Sportif Barry Austin said the team had approached Gent-Wevelgem with the aim of having a strong group of riders present after the key climbs in the middle section of the race. “We made the selection we intended to, with five of our riders present after the first wave of climbs. Unfortunately we lost Alena Amialiusik in a crash and that swung the balance away from us slightly. We rode to our plan but the strong headwind in the final 15km meant we had to settle for a bunch sprint.”
Austin said, “We are very constant in our results at present and that is a great sign. Some small tweaks and the consistency should turn into wins soon. It is about being fully present in any moment of the race in such a way that it shows the high respect for the preparation and sacrifices the rider and the team have made.”
In Marseille, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot took second place in a hard-fought battle in the first of French MTB Cup series. Ferrand-Prévot started with a steady tempo in anticipation of a longer race and muddy conditions. The race was won by Githa Michiels with Ferrand-Prévot five seconds behind the Belgian rider in second place.
“It was a hard race and also 150 minutes meant it was 30 minutes longer than usual. With the mud it was very hard. There were some technical problems but MTB is a mechanical sport so you have to deal with that. I’m happy with the result and I think I’m in good shape,” said Ferrand-Prévot.
CANYON//SRAM already races again on Wednesday 29 March in Pajot Hills Classic with a roster of Hannah Barnes, Tiffany Cromwell, Barbara Guarischi, Mieke Kröger, Alexis Ryan and Leah Thorvilson.