It was such a decent end between Gaia Realini and world champion Annemiek van Vleuten on stage 6 of La Vuelta Feminina that uncertainty dominated after the end line, however finally a call was made that left the Trek-Segafredo rider having fun with an emotional celebration of her first Ladies’s WorldTour victory.
“The second after the end was hectic. First, they offer the win to me, then to her after which, lastly, to me,” stated Realini in a media assertion. “In fact, it was not straightforward however I used to be prepared to just accept the choice of the jury and I wouldn’t have been too disillusioned if Annemiek was the winner.
“I used to be simply actually pleased with how I raced however, in fact, I’m even happier to have taken the win.”
A lead group had fashioned early within the stage after a controversial break up within the crosswinds occured within the midst of a nature break for Demi Vollering (SD Worx), on the time within the crimson race chief’s jersey. In that lead group Realini may very well be seen sticking attentively to Van Vleuten, who was unsurprisingly endeavouring to benefit from the break up pressured by her Movistar crew.
Van Vleuten was pushing the tempo to interrupt up the race additional, first whittling the lead bunch to seven riders at greater than 45km to go, then rapidly down to 5, whereas at simply over 30km it regarded just like the race’s defending champion could also be set to fly solo. Realini, nonetheless, had different concepts.
“When Annemiek attacked, there was no cooperation to observe her so I knew I wanted to bridge throughout to her,” stated Realini. “It was a now or by no means second if I needed to battle for the stage win. I simply adopted, adopted, adopted and stayed on her wheel.”
The consequence was that the 2 remained out the entrance by way of the stays of the lumpy stage and proper by way of to the Laredo end line, with Van Vleuten persevering with to push the tempo as she pursued each potential second within the profitable chase for the general lead. Realini, nonetheless, was effectively down within the total, so the important thing aim was the stage and due to this fact remaining on Van Vleuten’s wheel was the tactically good play to salvage a Vuelta Feminina that had hit some early bumps for Trek-Segafredo.
“It has not been a simple Vuelta particularly on the second stage after I misplaced time as a result of echelons,” stated Realini. “It was disappointing however, as a crew, we didn’t lose our confidence or our motivation to do our greatest and attempt to win, that’s why we got here right here. I believe this victory is a reward for my effort and the hassle of the entire crew in as of late.”
La Vuelta Feminina can also be not but over, with a climbing stage on Sunday that performs to Realini’s strengths. Her transfer to leap over to Van Vleuten on stage 6, and as soon as there stay in her slipstream, could have put her within the supreme place to take not simply her first Ladies’s WorldTour victory, however maybe a second as effectively.
“I believe Realini would be the freshest of us all in the beginning tomorrow … she had a free trip to the end from me,” stated Van Vleuten on her weblog submit (opens in new tab) concerning the stage.
Pleased tears #LaVueltaFemenina pic.twitter.com/gqoHt4BvPgCould 6, 2023