Santesteban back to racing after horror training crash
Ane Santesteban will return to racing action on home soil at the Durango - Durango Emakumeen Saria on Tuesday, two months after a training crash that left her unconscious at the side of the road. The Ale Cipollini rider will then head onto the Emakumeen Bira, which takes place between May 17 and 21st.
Santesteban has been on the sidelines since the training crash in the middle of March. The former national champion was found lying on the side of the road with blood pouring out of her head. Her bike was propped up, leading police to believe that she had been involved in a hit and run. They are yet to find who may have been the perpetrator.
Joining Santesteban at the Basque race will be Marta Bastianelli, Martina Alzini, Anisha Vekemans, Soraya Paladin and Daiva Tuslaite.
Bronzini nails first win of the season in California
Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-High5) had originally planned to retire at the end of last season but changed her mind when the time came. The Italian veteran showed that she still has the speed to make it count in Sacramento on the final stage of the Amgen Women's Race, beating rising star Coryn Rivera in a straight out sprint.
Bronzini had come close on stage 3 but was determined to make it work on the final day of action in California and tested out her sprint effort on the intermediate sprint mark. She took full points, giving her the confidence to go for it on the finish line.
"It's really important to win here because America is the biggest crowd ever, and I'm really proud to be here," Bronzini said afterwards. "I was a bit more confident today… I eventually found the left side which was also covered by the wind, and that gave me the right moment to go over. The sprint is just when you think it's too late so you need to go by instinct and instinct gave me a reason today."
Sierra continues impressive debut with podium in California
Arlenis Sierra's (Astana Women) impressive debut professional season continued with third place overall at the Amgen Women's Race. The Cuban rode a consistent race, with third in the opening stage just 10 seconds behind Megan Guarnier. She also came a close second to Coryn Rivera on the penultimate stage.
On top of the podium finish, her performance was enough to give her victory in the young riders and the points classifications. The result comes off the back of a fourth place finish at the PanAmerican Championships earlier this month.
"To be honest, I have confidence in myself and even more in God that makes me able to do this and much more, but I didn't believe I could achieve such a result here in California," said Sierra.
"I want to dedicate this results to a person who is not from my family but who is with me, the Cuban mechanic Juan Fernández who died during the PanAmerican Championships. I hope he can rest in peace and be always with us cyclists. I also thank God for giving me much happiness in my life, obviously all the Astana Women's Team that was really fantastic in the days in California and all Cuba's cycling."
Hannah Barnes finishes Amgen Women's Race on a high
Canyon-SRAM's Hannah Barnes started the Amgen Women's Race slowly last week with 52nd place at South Lake Tahoe but by the end of the week her confidence was sky high as she sprinted to fourth place. The 24-year-old explained that she was aiming higher but had to be pleased with the result considering it was her first sprint in a race since suffering a broken ankle
"It's the first time since I broke my ankle that I put my hand up in the team meeting for the opportunity to sprint," said the British national champion. "The team kept me safe and out of trouble. They put me in a good place from six laps to go. I started my sprint just under 300m to go and at that point was around sixth position and in the end was fourth."
Seventh at Le Samyn des Dames in her second race of the year, Barnes was also fifth at the Tour de Yorkshire with further improvement coming in California. With her third top-ten result of the season, Barnes added she is looking to take future opportunities for sprint wins.
"It was good. A podium of course was the goal but for the first time really sprinting this year I'm happy with it. I know what I need to improve on and now I have the confidence to just get stuck in and go for it."