Emakumeen Bira (st. 2)
Telefónica-backed squad shows extraordinary level in demanding circuit around Aduna: Jasinska rewarded as most Courageous of the day, Mavi toe-to-toe with top contenders alongside Gutiérrez (11th), Merino (13th).
The Movistar Team took another significant leap forward in their quest for success at top UCI Women’s WorldTour events with a fantastic performance on stage two of the 2019 Emakumeen Bira. The lumpy circuit in the villages of Aduna, Zizurkil and Amasa, with a tough uphill finish, saw the Blues crowning an excellent job from the very start with a 3rd spot for Mavi García.
The Spanish allrounder’s brilliant finish -nearly cut short by a puncture with just 6km remaining, yet able to bridge back- was the response to a sensational team effort. The great level uphill from Llamas and Patiño, pushing early in the race on the climbs of Altzo and Alkiza before a crash for Paula at the latter’s descent; the efforts in the break -rewarded with the Combativity prize– by Malgorzata Jasinska; and the attacks and control from a very attentive Sheyla Gutiérrez (11th) and Eider Merino (13th), just under twenty seconds from Mavi -only bested by Amanda Spratt (MTS) and Soraya Paladin (ALE)-.
García now sits in 3rd place overall, 12″ behind Spratt, before Friday’s first key mountain stage (of two) in the Bira: 97km starting in Murgia and finishing atop Santa Teodosia (Cat-2; 2.7km uphill, with maximum slopes of 17%), after a previous climb to the grueling Opakua (Cat-1; 7.4km at 5.7%).
Mavi García: “The team has done an outstanding job; all the girls were really strong today. It was sad to see Paula falling down, because the rest were incredible; Paula aside, strong on the climbs, Jasi was just amazing with those solo attacks, responding to all moves; Sheyla looked evne more impressive than ever; Lorena had lots of gas into the climbs; and Eider was keeping an eye on all moves. At the final kilometers I had a puncture and saw myself even out of GC contention at some point, yet was lucky enough to bridge back and get to the front with 2km to go, even going after Spratt’s attack to take 3rd place – so, so close. I’m really satisfied with this result.”
Cover picture (c): Photo Gomez Sport