Roy sprints to glory at the Clasica Femenina Navarra

Thu 1 Aug 2019

Australian Sarah Roy sprinted to a stunning victory in the first edition Clasica Femenina Navarra after strong work from the Mitchelton-SCOTT squad in the finale.

The 33-year-old benefited from an impressive lead out from her teammates on the run into Lodosa and Roy finished it off in style as she held off her rivals in the sprint for the line.

Slow Start

After Tuesday’s hilly parcours, today always looked set to be one for the sprinters with a largely flat profile over the 120.7-kilometre course. With that in mind, it was a slow start to proceedings with little in the way of attacks coming inside the opening 50-kilometres of the race.

As the peloton passed through the halfway point, the action began to pick up with a strong group of nine riders edging clear, including Kiwi Georgia Williams. With the likes of CCC-Liv, Alé Cipollini and the Movistar Team also represented in the move, the escapees stretched their advantage out to over 40-seconds while the chase from the bunch stalled.  

As the break passed through the finish line for the penultimate time the gap stood at 33-seconds with still no organised chase coming from behind and the teams represented in the move were content to sit in the wheels as Alex Manly policed the head of the peloton.

Fast Finish

However, the pack finally began to make headway and closed in on the nine leaders on the loop out of town as they raced onto the wide open roads. With the peloton closing in the escapees began to attack each other and Williams was working hard to mark the moves while her teammates were beginning to organise themselves for a sprint behind.

The break were finally hauled back over one of the short ramps that punctuated the finishing circuit and as the escapees were mopped up, Mitchelton-SCOTT powered to the front with Roy in tow.

Moniek Tenniglo was the last rider to swing off the Mitchelton-SCOTT lead out train inside the final-kilometre, leaving Roy to open up the sprint with the line in sight. The former national criterium champion got the jump on her rivals and held them off to take the victory in style.

Sarah Roy:
“Having Georgia in the break was great. She did an awesome job of covering moves on every hill and she’s been a fantastic worker all year so for that break to go with one from every major team was good. She had a good chance from that move and I was happy for her to have a go.”

“We were lucky a few other teams wanted the break back so the girls were super attentive and I felt relaxed. We didn’t have radios, so we talked a lot about what we wanted to do for the finish and we were all on the same page. We wanted to keep the pace high and have me positioned near the front for the last kilometre which was downhill and super-fast.”

“The girls nailed it. Jess did a killer turn leading into the hill two-kliometres from the finish and Georgia took over for the first part of the hill even after her time in the break. Alex was super strong all the way over it with Gracie on her wheel keeping us all calm. I had Moniek on my wheel taking care of all the turbulence behind me and in the last 900-metres she put the hammer down!”

“I looked around and saw Roxane (Fournier) approaching my wheel so I started my sprint early. I’m glad the line wasn’t any further away. I could have waited a little longer but I’m so happy to cross the line first and for the team and Alejandro and Nico and our soigneurs to get to celebrate a little win - they all deserve it so much!"

Alejandro Gonzalez-Tablas (Sports Director):
 “It was a great team effort today, the plan was to get someone in the break so that we could just control it and Georgia did amazingly well there.”

“The rest of the team just waited for the moment to get things in place for Roy and they set it up perfectly once the breakaway was caught. We can be proud of this one.”

Clasica Femenina Navarra 2019 Results:
1. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 2:56:01
2. Maria Martins (Sopela Women's Team) ST
3. Marta Lach (CCC - Liv) ST

Photo courtesy of the Movistar Team.