Women's Basque Racing Series
Spanish road race champion from Movistar Team scores her second consecutive victory at local Torneo Euskaldun after splendid work from Paula Patiño (4th) before Elosua ascent.
There couldn’t be a better name to open the list of winners in the women’s Subida a Gorla, a prestigious race from the amateur men’s Basque calendar -with legendary winners, such as Alberto Contador, Mikel Landa, Andrey Amador or Joaquim Rodríguez-, than a true champion such as Eider Merino (Movistar Team). The Balmaseda native owned the competition over the slopes of Elosua (7km at 7% avg.) with her impressive talent and a big support from a young team-mate: Colombian Paula Patiño, who joined the Basque ace at the start in Bergara (71km).
Patiño (4th at the finish) kept on check an early, six-woman breakaway with Laizane, Fraile (EIC), Martins (SWT), Suárez (LAB), López (BDU) and Doris Schweizer (BDU), who ended up contesting the podium from the break, 3rd after team-mate Nicole d’Agostin and Merino, whose dominance on the climb allowed her winning solo. A second victory in as many races for the leader of the Basque Cycling Series, who continues to successfully build up towards the most important stageraces coming up for her later in 2019.
REACTION / Eider Merino:
“There were plenty of attacks from the start, but to be honest, having Paula Patiño by my side it seemed like there were three team-mates instead of one. We let a break with riders not so dangerous for the finale go and we kept them under control. Our strategy was pushing with Paula but not so hard, not aiming to chase them down, because there would be some other attacks after that. Still, attacks didn’t cease to come inside our group. When the climb started, we were still 40″ behind, but we were able to catch them after about one kilometer, then I went on my own pace – and up to the top. I might have felt stronger last week, but this victory tastes as good as that one. Now it’s on to the next ones!”