Trofeo Bajo Andarax / Gent-Wevelgem
Catalan climber excellently supported by Lourdes Oyarbide in long breakaway, takes second win in 2019 Spanish Racing Series in Movistar Team one-two alongside Mavi García. Paula Patiño remains U23 leader.
Lorena Llamas continues to build a strong position as one of the women’s Movistar Team’s best values. The brave Catalan climber took a rain-soaked victory at the 1st Trofeo Bajo Andarax -second round of the 2019 Spanish Racing Series, over 106km in the Andalusian province of Almería- to repeat last Sunday’s success in the opening race (Eibar) and reinforce her leadership in the standings, with both elite (Llamas) and under-23 (Paula Patiño) classifications still led by the ladies directed by Pablo Lastras.
The Telefónica-backed squad always went on the attack. An early move by Patiño and Lourdes Oyarbide, into a six-woman attempt caught by the main field in the initial Los Millares climb (Cat-3), was followed by an attack, into the descent of Las Parricas (Cat-3), by Oyarbide herself and Llamas, who reached the foot of the decisive Sierra Alhamilla (Cat-2) ascent with two minutes over the second group. As Oyarbide devoted herself to securing Lorena’s success, Llamas reached the line solo with Mavi García -who kept all attacks from behind under control, together with Eider Merino- beating young Italian Nicole d’Agostin (BDU) for 2nd place.
It’s the fourth 2019 success for the group managed by Sebastián Unzué and Jorge Sanz in a brilliant month of March for the Blues, who will be back to the Copa de España with two further rounds in April at Noja (Cantabria, Sunday 7th) and Dos Hermanas (Seville, Sunday 28th).
REACTION / Lorena Llamas:
“It was a victory by the whole team – we really worked well together in this race. Lourdes got herself into the early break and stayed at the front with Paula before the first two climbs, and our plan was having Mavi and Eider splitting the field into the first ascent to try and bridge back to go until the finish. However, it wasn’t possible to create that big selection and we had to keep on digging. After the descent, we launched ourselves on a duo time trial, Lourdes and I. She did a really nice job, which allowed us staying like 10″ ahead of the Bizkaia group. We never surrendered and they never got us back. It’s my second victory so far this season, I feel so strong and confident and I want to profit from this moment. Also, taking such a victory in a tough day, with strong winds, rain – it’s a boost of confidence!”
Gante-Wevelgem: Fournier takes top-20 in bunch sprint; Jasinska crashes out
Over at their second racing front on Sunday, the 8th edition of Gent-Wevelgem (UCI Women’s WorldTour), neither the strong winds in the 136km course, the six climbs or the gravel roads (‘Plugstreets’) were able to avoid a surprisingly big sprint, won by De Panne victress Kirsten Wild (WNT) in front of Lorena Wiebes (PHV) and Letizia Paternoster (TFS).
Roxane Fournier, well supported in the finale by Aude Biannic, Sheyla Gutiérrez and Alicia González, wasn’t able to properly contest the sprint, taking 19th place. The Blues weren’t exempt from crashes, either, with an incident for Biannic and Jasinska in the neutral zone followed by a second crash with 25km remaining for the Polish champion, with a wound and big blow to her left elbow, yet with no further injuries.