Fournier already shining in Blue: 4th in Vila-real’s bunch sprint

22 February 2019
Imagen de la noticia ‛Fournier already shining in Blue: 4th in Vila-real’s bunch sprint’

Setmana Valenciana (st. 2)

French sprinter from Movistar Team overcomes difficult leadout position to claim her second top-ten finish in 2019, as Lepistö (TFS) grabs the win. Mavi García crashes before Saturday’s Xorret de Catí climb, suffers no major injuries.

Finnish rider Lotta Lepistö (TFS) took Friday’s win at the predictable sprint finish on stage two of the 2019 Setmana Ciclista Valenciana, over a 100km parcours between Borriol and Vila-real with no rated ascents. With no real GC battle to be played today, the Movistar Team focused on avoiding danger.

At the départ of stage two in Borriol. (c) Movistar Team

Well supported by Teruel, Llamas, Oyarbide and Sheyla Gutiérrez, the ‘Lioness’ in a favourable momentum after her 7th spot on Thursday, the references for the mountains in Jorge Sanz’s squad (Eider Merino and Mavi García, 4th yesterday) and the Blues’ sprinter Roxane Fournier kept their powder dry, yet weren’t free from incidents. A crash with just under 30km remaining into a narrow section forced García to change bikes with team-mate Teruel and finish the stage with bruises to her left side -most importantly at her hand and thigh-, which do not hide any other major injuries.

García at the finish after her crash. (c) Movistar Team

At a chaotic sprint, Fournier had to seek for different lines to launch her final rush, yet she was still able to overtake some rivals and finish in a fine 4th spot, behind Lepistö, Maria Giulia Confalonieri (VAL) and Elena Cecchini (CSR). The Frenchwoman will have a second opportunity at Sunday’s closing stage in Sagunto, while Mavi and Eider will battle for a strong GC finish in Saturday’s brutal Xorret de Catí climb (4km at 12% average), currently sitting 15″ and 20″ behind American Ruth Winder (TFS).

Cover picture (c): Vélofocus