25.02.2023 World-Tour, News, Race news
SORAYA CLAIMS 9TH AT OMLOOP
Soraya Paladin claimed ninth place for CANYON//SRAM Racing in the anticipated Flanders Classics opener, Omloop Het Nieuwsblad, today in Ninove, Belgium.
Soraya rode strongly with the front group over the penultimate climb, the Muur-Kapelmuur, trailing two leaders by around 15 seconds. On the fast-approaching Bosberg climb, she was joined by teammates Kasia Niewiadoma and Shari Bossuyt as the chase group swelled to 27 riders, who were then setting after one solo rider.
The gap fell from 45 seconds, but Lotte Kopecky (SDW) still had a handful of seconds to cross the line first, just ahead of the group sprinting for second place.
“I was in a good position before the Muur, and though Lotte was the strongest, I managed to stay in the front group for the team,” explains Soraya.
“When Shari (Bossuyt) and Kasia came back to our group, we thought it was still a good situation for us. Kasia attacked strongly before the final kilometre, and I aimed to lead out Shari. We lost each other before the last corner, and it didn’t work out. It’s sad because she’s a strong sprinter. I’m satisfied with my performance, but the ninth place is disappointing. We had a solid team race and some bad luck, but we’re going in the right direction.”
Kasia adds, “After the Molenberg, Shari and I were in a small front group. Just before we entered the next cobblestone section, Annemiek (van Vleuten) suddenly swung left and straight into the spokes of my front wheel. The peloton was in pieces at the time, and the car convoy was a long way behind. I had no chance to change the wheel and was forced to keep riding alone until I reached our soigneur on the side of the road to change it.”
“It’s disappointing to have no big result even though the shape was there. On the positive side, I’m happy to see how our youngsters Alice (Towers) and Maike (van der Duin) were fighting! Soraya and Shari rode strongly. It’s promising for our team when we’re coming towards many more weekends of racing.”