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SIENA, Italy (VN) – The result wasn’t a winner but the process was a success for Jumbo-Visma’s new double threat.
Team captain Vos was stranded on the sterrato when Lotte Kopecky and Annemiek van Vleuten broke clear in the final, but it wasn’t all bad news for the Dutch crew. Saturday’s white road classic promised big things for the future for Vos and her new co-captain Labecki.
“We went all-in for Marianne, we were really after the long section with four riders, we worked together covering moves. It’s a pretty honest race and we all gave our all,” Labecki told VeloNews at the finish.
“It was my first race with the team and we worked really well together as a team. Obviously on paper it wasn’t the result we wanted, but I think we worked really good for our first race.”
The newly arrived Labecki gives Jumbo-Visma a double-threat after Vos was the sole centerpoint for recent seasons.
With Tour of Flanders and Trofeo Binda on her palmarès and the flag of former U.S champion on her sleeve, Labecki is set to share the headline slot with Vos since transferring from DSM this winter.
But Saturday was Vos’ day. Labecki, Anna Hendersen and Anouska Koster did the pulling through the day’s grippy gravel race ahead of unleashing “the boss.”
“It was really windy so we did a lot of work to cover moves for Marianne,” Labecki said. “She obviously felt the best, she was in the lead group.”
Vos started the race as a red-hot favorite alongside van Vleuten, but when the Movistar maestro kicked out on the final gravel climb, “the boss” was blown as only Kopecky could follow.
“I’d been riding til the last three sectors then phweh! I was just trying to follow. I just didn’t have the legs in the final to do something so I got dropped on the last sector, tried to hang in, came back but it wasn’t enough,” Vos told VeloNews from the mixed zone.
“I saw a good battle for the first places at least,” she joked.
Labecki on Jumbo-Visma reset: ‘I just want to have fun’
Labecki and Vos will dovetail through the season, but their upcoming stretch through the spring will split.
Vos heads square toward the northern cobbles, while Labecki goes full-gas to Trofeo Binda later this month. A second victory at the Italian classic would be huge in Labecki’s first spring with Jumbo-Visma.
But for Labecki, top priority is hitting a groove again after she lost her fizz balancing home life in the States and racing ambitions in Europe in recent years.
“I just want to have fun racing, that’s all that really matters and the rest comes,” she said of her plans for the season. “Of course every race we start we want to do well and win, and that’s the mindset we have but we’ll just see how it goes and enjoy the racing.”