Marta Bastianelli wins Le Samyn des Dames after late attack
Former world champion leads an all-Italian podium with Maria Giulia Confalonieri and Vittoria Guazzini rounding out the podium.
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Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team ADQ) took the honors at Le Samyn des Dames on Tuesday after breaking clear of the bunch inside the final three kilometers.
The Italian sprinter didn’t want to wait for the bunch gallop to the line and attacked over final cobbled sector, known as the Rue de Belle Vue, just under three kilometers to the line with Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Uno-X) hitching a ride on her wheel.
Several other riders tried to bridge the gap but couldn’t keep up with the pace set by Bastianelli, who is riding her final season as a pro after extending her career by a year.
Confalonieri and Bastianelli worked well together and held a slim margin over the bunch behind on the slightly uphill finale.
Going into the final meters, Bastianelli sat in Confalonieri’s wheel and only launched her sprint to the line with 100 meters to go and beat her fellow Italian with relative ease. Vittoria Guazzini (FDJ-Suez) won the sprint from the bunch to make it an all-Italian podium in the Belgian race.
“Belgium is my second home, I think,” Bastianelli joked in her post-race interview. “Today was a very hard day for me, I was not feeling well but I followed the team’s plan and attacked in the last part of the cobbles. With me was a very big rider, Maria Giulia Confalonieri, and I am sorry because I didn’t help her very much but I am a sprinter and I didn’t know what was happening behind because I wasn’t listening too much to the radio and I didn’t have a gap. I did my best in the sprint and I’m happy for me and for my team.
“This year, I am sure. I am happy to finish my career with a victory and I hope that this the best from me.”
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