Elisa Balsamo wins opening stage of Setmana Ciclista Volta Comunitat Valenciana
Trek-Segafredo keeps it together for sprint finish despite a late attack from Annemiek van Vleuten and more.
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Elisa Balsamo got her Trek-Segafredo account open early with victory in her first race of the season at the Setmana Ciclista Volta Comunitat Valenciana Femines.
Balsamo was set up by a strong leadout from her Trek-Segafredo teammates, including Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini. The world champion raced out of the wheels of Longo Borghini with 200 meters to go.
She could not be matched as she surged ahead in the sprint for the line in Gandia on the opening stage of the four-day race. The in-form Ruby Roseman-Gannon (BikeExchange-Jayco) fought hard in her first European race since 2019 to take second place, while Anouska Koster (Jumbo-Visma) crossed the line for third.
Following a fairly straightforward start to the stage, it ended with a frenetic period of attacking over the final climb of the Alto de Barx. The second-category ascent was an opportunity to take a chance for the non-sprinters and many took it.
Defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) was one of several to go away, along with Mavi Garcia (UAE), and Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope). The group grew and shrunk in numbers as more attacked and dropped off but it would eventually come back together thanks to a big turn from Ellen van Dijk (Trek-Segafredo).
Balsamo subsequently delivered on her teammates’ hard work to give them their first victory of the season.
Congrats champ! @Elisa_balsamo @TrekSegafredo #VoltaCVFèmines22 pic.twitter.com/Nia3PBl830
— SC – Volta Comunitat Valenciana Femines (@SetmanaCiclista) February 17, 2022
Results will be available once stage has completed.