Hannah Barnes today took her second stage win of the tour and secured the general classification win at the final stage of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana in Benidorm, Spain.
Barnes, Kasia Niewiadoma and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot were in a 9-rider breakaway that, with more than three minutes advantage at one point, stayed away to the finish. Barnes won the sprint ahead of Ashleigh Moolman (CBT), who also finished second on the general classification.
“The last lap was very hard. To have Kasia and Pauline there with me was really great. They were amazing, especially in the final,” said Barnes.
After losing the orange leader’s jersey yesterday Barnes said her motivation was high. “We had a really cool team plan going into the race and we were all really excited for it,” said Barnes just before going on to the podium.
“The team had a lot of confidence in me which made me believe in myself too. I knew it was going to be a hard day but after all the work the staff and riders have put into this race, and also our recent training camp, I couldn’t not give it everything.”
Barnes praised her teammates in the victories. “We’ve worked really hard as a team and this is a great reward for the riders and staff.”
Niewiadoma, who had her first race for the team said the tour had been an amazing start. “I’ve had an amazing time! I had so much fun racing with the girls and playing different tactics! We had a strong team and the confidence within our group was high which helped us achieve what we wanted,” said Niewiadoma.
After breaking her pelvis at the OVO Energy Women’s Tour in June 2017, Alena Amialiusik had her first race back: “The tour overall was very very cool it’s the best way to test ourselves before the rest of the coming season. We were working so well as a team and at the end we come away with two stage victories, the GC and the team’s classification win.”
“Especially for me, my first race after almost eight months since breaking my pelvis, it’s been an important step. I really wanted to be good here and I’ve worked hard in the winter to achieve that. I am happy with my current form. Day by day I feel stronger and I’m happy with that. I tried my best to contribute to the overall victory here and it’s worked well.”
Christa Riffel “The spirit of the team has been amazing in these days. I really enjoyed racing with the team although I personally found the tour very hard! I am really looking forward to the season ahead with my teammates. I know that I have to improve a lot but I’m ready to do that. After the tour, I can say that it went better than I expected. The girls raced super strong and I’ve tried my best to help the team too.”
After coming from the cyclo-cross season, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot made the switch immediately to the road for Setmana Ciclista Valenciana: “It’s been a nice tour here. The team has raced really well and the atmosphere is great. I’ve tried to help where I can and I’m really happy that we have won the general classification.”
Kasia Niewiadoma: “I’m looking forward to the upcoming races where again we can show our strength! We were a well-oiled machine where everybody knew what to do and what is her role.”