La Madrid Challenge Race Review: The Belgian Bullet is back on track, not only on the track

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The newborn UCI Women’s World Tour series brought the curtain down on Sunday at La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta. Belgian rider Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle High5) succeeded American rider Shelley Olds as winner of La Madrid Challenge. It is the third victory of British registered team Wiggle High5 at the newborn UCIWWT series after Chloe Hosking victories at Tour of Chongming Island and La Course by Le Tour.

It is D’hoore first victory at the UCIWWT in a season where her focus has been on the track (she won the Olympic bronze medal in Omnium). “Coming into the season my main goal was the track. I have done some road races but it was all preparation for the track, so I knew in my mind I couldn’t get a top result, that wasn’t possible. But of course for the people in Belgium, they said uhh… she is not good and they were a bit afraid, but I have confidence and I know that I was going for the track. Everything worked out and my next goal is the next championships in Qatar.” Jolien told us prior to the race.

“We’ll try to go for a bunch sprint with the team because we have me and Chloe as sprinters, so we will talk in the race who is going to do the sprint. So we have to see it in the race.” said the Belgian rider.

“The Belgian Bullet” was the fastest one at the bunch sprint. Her teammate Chloe Hosking (Wiggle High5), who led her out on the sprint, finished second, while Italian rider Marta Bastianelli (Alé Cipollini) completed the podium.

American rider Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) made history by claiming the overall victory at the inaugural UCIWWT series, a fair prize to her best professional season so far. Boels Dolmans won the team classification while Polish rider Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabobank Liv) won the youth classification. Spanish rider Sheyla Gutiérrez (Cylance) was our top ranked rider, finishing in 44th position with 105 points at the individual classification and third at the youth rankings.

Japanese rider Eri Yonamine (Poitou-Charentes Futuroscope), Italian rider Alice Maria Arzuffi (Lensworld-Zannata), Dutch rider Natalie van Gogh (Parkhotel Valkenburg), Polish rider Anna Plichta (BTC City Ljubljana), and Spanish rider Mavi García (Bizkaia Durango) formed the first breakaway of the race. They had a gap of around 15 seconds but their breakaway didn’t last long and they were quickly absorbed by peloton. Despite multiple attacks in the field the peloton remained tightly packed together. It was with around 20 kilometres to go when German rider Claudia Lichtenberg (Lotto Soudal) and Italian rider Simona Frapporti (Hitec Products) managed to break away from the peloton. Both riders entered the final lap of the race with a twenty-second advantage over the main group.

With 4.4 kilometres to go there was a crash in front of the peloton affecting several riders, including Australian sprinter Loren Rowney (Orica AIS), who was part of Sarah Roy leadout train for bunch sprint. With only 3 kilometres to go the breakaway was caught by the peloton and everything was set for the final bunch sprint of the 2016 UCIWWT series.
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Highlights La Madrid Challenge by La Vuelta UCI WWT

Results

The final rankings of the first UCI WWT series remain as follows:

UCI Women’s WorldTour Individual Ranking

1   Megan Guarnier Boels Dolmans 946
2 Leah Kirchmann Liv Plantur 624
3   Elizabeth Armitstead Boels Dolmans 545
4 Chantal Blaak Boels Dolmans 541
5 Elisa Longo Borghini Wiggle High5 523
6 Evelyn Stevens Boels Dolmans 519
7 Anna van der Breggen Rabobank Liv 492
8 Emma Johansson Wiggle High5 463
9 Chloe Hosking Wiggle High5 450
10 Marianne Vos Rabobank Liv 442
11 Katarzyna Niewiadoma Rabobank Liv 421
12 Alena Amialiusik Canyon SRAM 288
13 Maria Giulia Confalonieri Lensworld–Zannata 286
14 [FIN] Lotta Lepistö Cervélo Bigla 279
15 Amy Pieters Wiggle High5 265
44 [ESP] Sheyla Gutiérrez Cylance Pro Cycling 105

UCI Women’s WorldTour Youth Ranking

1 Katarzyna Niewiadoma Rabobank Liv  36
2 Floortje Mackaij Liv Plantur 18
3 [ESP] Sheyla Gutiérrez Cylance Pro Cycling 18

Women’s WorldTour Team Ranking

1 Boels Dolmans 2894
2 Wiggle High5 2245
3 Rabobank Liv 1853

Sources:
PCS
UCI

Written by:
Diego Martín

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