23.04.2023 World-Tour, News, Race news
ELISE AND SORAYA FINISH 5TH & 9TH AT LIEGE-BASTOGNE-LIEGE
Elise Chabbey sprinted to fifth place in Liège-Bastogne-Liège, in Belgium yesterday to claim her best result of the Ardennes classics. Teammate Soraya Paladin added another Ardennes top-ten finish when she sprinted to ninth place, after the winner, Vollering (SDW), secured the Ardennes treble.
Kasia Niewiadoma was in an early breakaway that formed after 60km but soon after was forced out of the five-rider move with an untimely puncture. The four breakaway riders went ahead, with all but one caught by the summit of the Côte de La Redoute, helped by a chase led by Pauliena Rooijakkers. In the final 30km, Elise showed her impressive form, either attacking or able to be a part of almost all important moves. She missed only one, which saw Elisa Longo Borghini and Vollering go clear with less than 10km remaining, maintaining a gap of around 20 seconds all the way to the line to battle for the top two places.
Elise came to the line in a group of five, and though she was powering home in the sprint, the finish line came too early, and she just missed out on the podium.
The CANYON//SRAM Racing rider said, “It’s a shame that Kasia had a puncture and came out of the early breakaway. If we had had two riders in the front group coming into the final, then we could have played it differently. I’m a little angry with myself because when Longo Borghini went on the little downhill, Vollering opened the gap, and I hesitated one second too much. I could have been there.”
“With our group coming to the finish, I had a lot of motivation coming from Maggy (Bäckstedt) in the race car, but I got stuck in the front for the sprint. I’m really disappointed because I think I could have reached the podium with my legs today; I just didn’t play it well.”
“Overall, I’m happy with my shape at the moment. I was not supposed to race the Ardennes classics, so I’m pleased I showed I deserved my spot.”
Soraya also had another strong race, finishing second as a group of 13 riders sprinted to the line, and claiming ninth overall.
Soraya said, “It was a fast and hard race, as expected. We were in a good situation with Kasia in the breakaway quite early in the race, but when she came out of it, we had to organise the chase, which Pauliena did a good job of.”
“After La Redoute, I was still with the first group. But there were a lot of attacks on the next two climbs, and I started to suffer. Elise was ahead, and I was in the next group with RIcarda, but then both Kasia and I dropped on the final climb from the group. Kasia helped bring me back, and Ricarda set the tempo for the final kilometre so that I could go all in for the best result for the team and be in the top ten. I’m happy because, again, we did an amazing team performance, but it’s frustrating to have it without celebrating it on the podium.”