Van Vleuten finishes eighth in the WorldTour race Trofeo Alfredo Binda

Sun 20 Mar 2016

Former Tour of Flanders winner Annemiek Van Vleuten finished in a respectable eighth place today in Trofeo Alfredo Binda.

On the penultimate lap of the WorldTour race, eight riders broke free creating the race winning move. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) took the race honours with Van Vleuten coming in just behind the leading group after a furious pace on the final lap.

Van Vleuten was pleased to make it into the front selection and in a position to go try for a win on the tough course.

"I felt really good and strong," explained Van Vleuten. "When I looked around the level in the group was really high, I was with a top group of climbers."

"Firstly I was really happy to be there for the final, but it was hard not having another teammate to help make it harder on the flat. I was trying to get away on the flatter sections as I am not a 'real' climber."

After finishing within the top ten in numerous races already this season, the Dutch rider is hoping things will come together in the near future to achieve a podium spot.

"It was good to make it into the front group but maybe it wasn't the most ideal group riders for me to be with in the end," Van Vleuten continued. "I am happy I tried and had a chance to be there in the finish. I felt strong so I hope for the next races, maybe when there are cobbles, that I can make it onto the podium."

How to happened:

A sunny day welcomed 164 riders to the start of the WorldTour race in Gavirate. A local race for many of the ORICA-AIS team covering familiar training roads, the squad were well prepared for what was to come.

Within the first few kilometres riders tried to force an early break but the excited peloton never let anybody gain a substantial advantage. 

From kilometre 27 to 41 the race route covered tough hilly terrain as Rabo-Liv were happy to set the initial tempo on the climbs, in an attempt to split the large peloton early on. Successfully doing so, a front lead bunch formed of around 30 riders as they made their way over the undulating section.

Two riders Carmen Small (Cervélo Bigla Pro Cycling) and Ann-Sophie Duyck (TSVL-Etixx-GuillD'or) opened up a gap and quickly rode out to one minute as they entered the finishing circuits. However, it wasn't long before peloton reeled in the duo as they worked their way around the hilly laps.

During the second half of the race a few riders suffered crashes on the twisty roads, Rachel Neylan was unfortunate to go down but was later able to rejoin the main bunch.

The peloton started the penultimate lap with the the main bunch still in-tact maintaing a steady pace, seemingly waiting for the fireworks to begin in the latter stages. As the riders made their way up the main climb of the lap the Orino, the pace lifted and a strong group of eight riders broke free including ORICA-AIS' Van Vleuten. 

Jolanda Neff (Servetto Footon) tried her chances on the final lap attacking solo from the breakaway, hovering around 30seconds ahead. The lead riders fought hard to bring the solo rider back before the finish, ultimately creating a pace too hard for Van Vleuten to hang onto over the climb.

Armitstead caught Neff within final kilometres and overtook her just before the line to take the race honours. Van Vleuten was the highest placed finisher for ORICA-AIS after a gutsy ride coming home in eighth place just behind the leader's group.

ORICA-AIS are back in action next weekend in Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday 27th March.

Trofeo Alfredo Binda Results:

1. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans) 3:11:10
2. Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) +0:01
3. Jolander Neff (Servetto Footon) 0:01
8. Annemiek Van Vleuten (ORICA-AIS) +0:39