Alé Cipollini's Marta Bastianelli was a delighted winner of Gent-Wevelgem on Sunday. The Italian got a first-class lead-out from her teammate Chloe Hosking in the final kilometre and was quick to thank the Australian after the race.
"It was a fantastic day for us, everything went as it should. We were a strong team today, there were lots of attacks in the last kilometres, but we could handle it. I have to thank Chloe Hosking for her great lead-out. It was fundamental to winning today. This win is for her. I was not sure I would win the sprint as Jolien D'hoore is a very strong rider, so I am very happy.”
Hosking had been the team's top sprinter in the Ronde van Drenthe and the Driedaagse De Panne, finishing on the podium on both occasions. But as the race developed today, the decision was made to ride for Bastianelli.
"We are not the biggest team, but we have some very strong riders with Chloe, Janneke Ensing, and me. Today, we decided during the race that Chloe would support me in the sprint. We are happy to work for each other. In Flanders next week, we will race for Janneke, and I think it works well that each of us gets a chance in different races."
In 2014, Bastianelli sat out the season and gave birth to her child, returning to racing the following year. She says it can be hard to be both a pro cyclist and a mother, and that it makes victory even sweeter.
"It is a reward for all the work I have done during the winter. I am also a mother and have a family, and often it is very, very difficult to combine that with the work necessary for a cycling career. But I tackle it with a smile, and because of all that, this win means a lot to me."
Just three days after her sprint victory in the Driedaagse De Panne, Jolien D'hoore was second in Wevelgem. The Belgian champion was frustrated after the finish as she had mechanical problems during the sprint.
"I was in a good position and started the sprint on my 12-tooth chainring. But then I couldn't get it to shift to the 11, I couldn't go faster. I kept pushing the gear lever, and maybe ten metres before the finish it finally jumped across to the 11, but it was too late. I am quite disappointed because I felt I could do a good sprint. But in the end Marta was stronger, so she deserves the win."
Nevertheless, D'hoore now leads the UCI Women's WorldTour classification and will wear the purple leader's jersey in the Tour of Flanders on April 1. “It is a nice reward. And good timing too, now I can wear it in my home race, I am going to enjoy that. So it is a good consolation prize.”
Listen to Bastianelli speak about her victory in the latest Voxwomen below.
2018 Women's WorldTour ranking after Gent-Wevegem
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Jolien D'Hoore (Bel) Mitchelton Scott Women||380||pts|
|2||Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing||350|
|3||Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale Cipollini||350|
|4||Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||290|
|5||Chloe Hosking (Aus) Ale Cipollini||280|
|6||Chantal Blaak (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||253|
|7||Marianne Vos (Ned) Waowdeals Pro Cycling Team||235|
|8||Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||205|
|9||Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana Women's Team||185|
|10||Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5||160|
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Lukas Knöfler started working in cycling communications in 2013 and has seen the inside of the scene from many angles. Having worked as press officer for teams and races and written for several online and print publications, he has been Cyclingnews’ Women’s WorldTour correspondent since 2018.