The United States rider Ruth Winder wins in Gandia and leads Setmana Ciclista Valenciana
The American Ruth Winder is the first leader of the III Setmana Ciclista Valenciana after winning the inaugural stage with arrival in Gandia. The Trek - Segafredo rider, member of a flight of four cyclists, has managed to raise his arms on the finish line located on República Argentina Avenue.
The first stage started from the town of Cullera, in Ribera Baixa region. Very soon the cyclist Diana Carolina Peñuela (Ale - Cipollini) jumped from the big group. The Colombian came to have up to 2'06" advantage over the large bunch, which ended up hunting it at the height of the municipality of Xàtiva, at km 76 of the race.
Before, Peñuela had passed in first position for the only special sprint of the day located in Alzira, which led him to dress as leader of this secondary classification.
The nerves in the squad resulted in numerous falls that forced to leave the race to the German Trixi Worrack, Trek - Segafredo.
In this first stage the greatest difficulty was condensed in the last 30 kilometers, with the two climbs practically chained to the highs of Barxeta and Barx, of third and second category respectively.
It was on the ramps of the first of them where the first hostilities broke out, and they ended up forging an escape of six cyclists formed by Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Leah Thomas, of Bigla team; Mavi García, from Movistar; Soraya Paladin, from Ale - Cipollini; Karol-Ann Canuel, from Boels Dolmans; and Ruth Winder, from Trek - Segrafredo.
The six understood themselves perfectly and faced together the first ramps of Barx high. The distance in relation to the persecutors oscillated the 50". The sextet was first in a quintet when the American Leal Thomas dropped.
Once the Barx top was reached, 13 kilometers from the finish line, the cyclists started the descent to Gandía on the road to La Drova. In that section the Danish Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, winner of the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana in 2017, fell. Thus, the head of the race became a quartet composed of Mavi García, from Movistar; Soraya Paladin, from Ale - Cipollini; Karol-Ann Canuel, from Boels Dolmans; and Ruth Winder, from Trek - Segrafredo.
The four collaborated in the relays, which led them to the streets of Gandía. With the pursuer squad on their heels they faced the final straight line. That was where the American Ruth Winder - who layed it on the line in the last corner to the point of almost rolling on the floor - managed to keep a couple of seconds on her escape partners who ended up entering the same time as their pursuers.
First leader jerseys
After the first stage, Ruth Winder leads the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana with 6" advantage over the second classified, the Italian Soraya Paladin (Ale - Cipollini), and 8" over the third, the Canadian Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels Dolmans). These differences are given as a result of the bonuses.
The leader's jersey of the mountain will be worn by Soraya Paladin tomorrow, the special sprints Diana Carolina Peñuela, the best sub23 Evita Muzic (FDJ Nouvelle) and the first autonomic rider, the Valencian Cristina Martínez (Bizkaia - Durango).
The General Director of Sports, Josep Miquel Moya, the Mayor of Gandia, Diana Morant, the Councilor for Sports of the City of Gandia, Lidia Morant, and the Councilor for Sports of the City Council of Cullera, Javier Cerveró, among others, were present at the award ceremony.
The second stage, of 98 km, will move this Friday the caravan of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana to the province of Castelló. Borriol -in La Plana Alta- will welcome, at one-thirty in the afternoon, the neutralized exit. The cyclists will pass through Cabanes, Benlloch, Vall d'Alba and Vilafamés, with a small incursion in the region of L'Alcalatén passing through L'Alcora and continuing through Ribesalbes and Onda, already in the region of La Plana Baixa, where it will be located a special sprint, to finish in Vila-Real, next to the Ceramics Stadium.