Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) sprinted to victory on Sunday in the Trofeo Alfredo Binda.
The 123.7km race in Cittiglio, Italy, was the second round of the women’s UCI World Cup.
Armitstead had been part of a late six-rider break that included Rabo-Liv teammates Anna van der Breggen and Pauline Ferrand-Prévot, the reigning world road champion; Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda); Jolanda Neff (Swiss National Team); and Alena Amialiusik (Velocio-Sram)
When Ferrand-Prévot attacked, Armitstead led the charge that brought her back on the final climb of the day, and in the finale out-kicked the Rabo-Liv riders for the win, with the world champ settling for second on the day.
“When she was able to close the gap, we knew she had a chance to win here,” said team director Danny Stam. “In a group like this she usually is the fastest.”
Armitstead now leads the World Cup with 160 points. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle Honda) and Ellen van Dijk (Boels Dolmans) are tied for second with 120 points each.
“I’m in good shape already at this first race of the season, and I’m happy with second place,” said Ferrand-Prévot. “To get back into top form, I have to race a lot more. My goal for the season is to keep my world championship title.”
The third round of the series will be the Ronde van Vlaanderen on April 5.