Americans Leah Thomas (Bigla-Katusha) and Katie Hall (Boels-Dolmans) went one-two in the final stage of the 4th Setmana Ciclista Valenciana in Spain on Sunday. Thomas kicked to victory out of a four-rider breakaway ahead of Hall, while her teammate Anne van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) finished safely in the main bunch to wrap up the overall.
“We had some strong tactics coming into the stage today, and we all went into this 100 percent,” Thomas said. “We made the race hard right from the beginning and wanted to have no regrets by the end of the day. It was great that we were able to take the stage win, as a reward for all the riders’ enormous efforts today. I’m really proud of the whole team, and if we continue like this we’ll have a fantastic season.”
It was a big week for Bigla-Katusha, who finished with with Clara Koppenburg in second, fourth with Thomas, and fifth with Marlen Reusser. No one could match Van der Breggen in the mountains. The Dutch star won the second stage and defended through the weekend to wrap up the overall title in her season debut.
Most of the top riders head next to 12th Omloop Het Nieuwsblad on February 29, in Ghent, to open the spring classics calendar.
Setmana Ciclista Valenciana Stage 4, Betxí to Vila-real, 140km
1. Leah Thomas (Bigla-Katusha), 3:53:26
2. Katie Hall (Boels-Dolmans)
3. Mavi Garcia (Spain)
4. Erica Magnaldi (WNT) all same time
5. Katrine Aalerud (Norway, at 0:04
Final standings, 4th Setmana Ciclista Valenciana
1. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) 12:30:54
2. Clara Koppenburg (Bigla-Katusha) at 0:35
3. Demi Vollering (Parkhotel) at 1:07
4. Leah Thomas (Bigla-Katusha) at 2:21
5. Marlen Reusser (Bigla-Katusha) at 2:35