Elena Cecchini was today the best placed rider from CANYON//SRAM Racing in 13th at the spring classic opener, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad in Gent, Belgium. The hard fought race was set alight in the middle sections and after the iconic Paterberg climb, Elisa Longo-Borghini and Ellen van Dijk formed a breakaway. The pair were caught by a small group and Lucinda Brand (SUN) launched an attack in the final kilometres to solo to victory.
While Trixi Worrack was involved in a crash early in the race, the German rider continued to ride and has no serious injuries. Read the rider’s reactions from Omloop Het Nieuwsblad below.
Elena Cecchini: “Of 16 riders in the end we had 3, and 2 of us weren’t really expected. You never have to use “if” in cycling, but in this case I know that if everything went well we would have also had another two or three riders there in the front and that would have changed the race dynamic. I have had a better preparation for the road season than last year, but I suffered more on the flat and cobbles than I did on the climbs, and that is probably the difference from not doing track over winter. But I like my condition and I think mostly it’s the race speed I’m missing. I also need to improve about positioning. It was not about condition. I lost position in the right moment and this is disappointing.”
Alena Amialiusik: “That burning feeling in your lungs after a race, now I remember that really well! I really missed racing over the winter and I’ve been looking forward to getting back in to it. I was happy that I could be there to help the others, more than I thought I would. My broken wrist in January made me think that maybe my shape wouldn’t be so good for this first race of the season, but overall I am happy with how the race was for me.”
Tiffany Cromwell: “Before and over the Côte de Trieu went well, Trixi was setting up everything everywhere. I then went in to the Paterberg in 5th wheel, and then it was a series of things, I went to go to the gutter in the first part but it became muddy so then I got out of it, then got held up by someone, missed a near crash, got back, and before I know it I’m coming up the top in practically 50th wheel. I was close to getting back to the front group several times but just couldn’t close the gap and no one else from my small group wanted to get across. It’s always interesting to see everyone at this time of the season, who’s on and who’s not yet. We didn’t see dominance from one team. It sets it up for an interesting spring. As a team there’s definitely more we can do together.”
Lisa Brennauer: “We got reminded how hard the spring classics are at this part of the season. As a team we were a bit unlucky with crashes or people being involved in them. I think it’s a good first Belgian race for us and I look forward to what we will do together.”
Alexis Ryan: “I felt good and that I had good legs, but that was the only positive for me that I could take from today. I got caught up in a crash with Trixi on the Côte de Trieu, which was one of the most critical points in the race and the worst place to have bad luck. After that, there were a few times when I was just a couple of hundred metres off the back but couldn’t close the gap. Obviously I’m not on the best form because if I was I would have been able to close that gap.”
Trixi Worrack: “I went down in a crash when the action really started. I felt good today, especially on the cobbles. I am okay after the crash, there’s nothing that won’t stop me from training and racing. It was unlucky where the crash was because I had no chance to come back after that. It took too long to get up and fix my chain and get going again. I think in some way it was good that I crashed. After my big crash last year this was my first crash. So in a way I feel it’s good that I’ve had one small one now.”