Emakumeen Euskal Bira (st. 4)
Polish ‘baroudeur’ from Movistar Team -supported by Eider Merino in decisive split with top contenders in Basque Country- takes 10th overall with 4th in final stage; crowns day full of Blue attacks (González, Llamas, Neylan).
All five riders from the Movistar Team were on the move during an incredibly tough final day in the 2018 Emakumeen Euskal Bira -120km with three categorized climbs around Iurreta-, where the Jorge Sanz-led squad got a prize to all their fights for the past four days with a top-ten GC result and 4th place in the final stage by a relentless, courageous Małgorzata Jasińska.
Rachel Neylan -on the move after the Cat-3 Alto de Miota-, Lorena Llamas -following all attempts- and Alicia González -in an acceleration with Arzuffi (BDM), caught at the foot of the second categorized ascent- showed the commitment by the whole Blue squad the slopes of the mighty Urkiola (Cat-1) tore the race into pieces. The solo, ultimately winning attack by Amanda Spratt (MTS) was followed, more than two minutes behind after the climb, by a 21-rider pursuit including two from the Telefónica-backed squad: ‘Jasi’ and Eider Merino -14th at the finish, 16th overall-. The Spaniard worked hard for the Polish allrounder and was able to get together with him through a further selection in the group, only 12 competitors left before the second, final Urkiola ascent.
With consistent, long turns at the winding section down to the finish, Jasińska was able to finally establish a pace into the group, keep gaps unchanged and even launch herself first at the final sprint, leading her group for 4th behind a chasing duo with Olga Zabelinskaya (CGS) and Elisa Longo Borghini (WHT). The effort by ‘Jasi’ was rewarded with a second top-ten finish this year in a WorldTour event (she was 6th in the Ronde van Vlaanderen) and paid back the Blues’ efforts during the whole Basque race, having lost Lourdes Oyarbide early in the race due to a crash and collarbone / rib injuries on stage one.