Marta Bastianelli (Alé BTC Ljubljana) raised her hands in triumph on the finish line of stage 2 of the Tour de Suisse Women in what was a moment of redemption for the Italian veteran after an 18-month-long barren spell. Her last race win had been at the Vuelta CV Feminas in February 2020.
“I needed that win after such a long time without a victory, it is very important for me. At first, I did not know if the breakaway was good, but there were strong riders in there. In the end, I could win the stage, so I am very happy for myself and for my team,” said Bastianelli after the stage.
The decisive breakaway only formed on the third-to-last lap. Until then, Lizzie Deignan’s Trek-Segafredo had controlled the race to take bonus seconds at the intermediate sprints in order to leapfrog stage 1 winner and overnight leader Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM). When Deignan had scored enough time bonifications to move ahead of Chabbey, Trek-Segafredo’s grip on the race slackened, allowing for attacks.
When a break of two had been brought back, Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) attacked, chasing a stage win now that her teammate had lost the leader’s jersey.
The former British champion was followed by Eugénie Duval (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) and Marta Bastianelli, and another move with Alice Maria Arzuffi (Valcar-Travel & Service), Lara Vieceli (Ceratizit-WNT), and Linda Indergand (Swiss National Team) bridged to them soon afterwards.
Nina Buysman (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Tereza Neumanová (Burgos Alimenta Women Cycling Sport) also came up to the front, and a strong breakaway was established. In the final, Katia Ragusa (A.R. Monex) attacked from the peloton and bridged to the front on her own to add even more firepower.
This group was ideal for Bastianelli who is a strong sprinter but nonetheless is well-known for preferring sprints from a smaller group over full-blown mass sprints. Neumanová opened up the sprint about 200 metres from the line, but Bastianelli used her own punch and experience to come around the young Czech to win the stage.
“In the beginning of the stage, I stayed at the back of the peloton because I was cold in the rain and did not have the energy to fight at the front. But eventually I wanted to go in the breakaway.
"It is easier to win the stage from a break, a bunch sprint is always difficult. And when Trek had taken enough bonus seconds to win the Tour overall, I thought it was possible to get away and go for the win,” the Italian finished.
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