After a hard race, French champion Evita Muzic (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) was in a good chance to win the sprint for third place at Donostia San Sebastian Klasikoa, 1:35 minutes behind solo winner Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team). After the descent from the Murgil-Tontorra climb, Muzic’s teammate Brodie Chapman had joined her and Pauliena Rooijakkers (Liv Racing). Later, Tatiana Guderzo (Alé BTC Ljubljana) and Sabrina Stultiens (Liv Racing) also came up from behind.
However, Chapman did not seek out her teammate on the final kilometre but kept up the pace at the front of the group, believing to have only Muzic and Rooijakkers in her wheel and unaware that Guderzo and Stultiens had joined the group.
When Chapman looked behind with 180 metres to go, it was too late, and Guderzo won the sprint ahead of Stultiens and Muzic, who threw her arm out to her teammate in frustration as she crossed the line.
Having talked to her teammates after the race, Chapman also apologised for her mistake in public by posting to Twitter: “I’m aware I made a huge mistake today and cost the team a podium. I didn’t clarify the information and I thought I had a gap to the chasing riders until it was too late. It was a complete mistake and I’m so sorry to FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope.”
The team replied on social media with, “We will come back stronger”, choosing to look forward to the next opportunity instead of beating the dead horse that is a finished race.
Muzic had been on the attack earlier in the race, attacking on the Jaizkibel climb, 53 kilometres from the finish, with Rooijakkers and Ane Santesteban (Team BikeExchange). The three attackers had a gap of over a minute at the top of the climb and were eventually joined by Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Trek-Segafredo) and Massi-Tactic’s Olivia Baril while the peloton seemed happy to let the gap grow.
This lack of action inspired Guderzo to bridge to the front on her own, and the 2009 World Champion joined the front group just as they started the Gurutze climb. Movistar then took up the chase after the ascent, reducing the advantage of the break from over two minutes to under 40 seconds at the foot of the final climb, Murgil-Tontorra.
Cordon-Ragot charged right away as the road went up but paid for this when Van Vleuten attacked. As Cordon-Ragot had nothing left to stay with the best, she eventually finished in eighth place. Muzic, Rooijakkers, and Guderzo chose to ride the climb more conservatively, and for Guderzo this resulted in a podium place while Muzic finished fifth, Brodie sixth and Rooijakkers seventh.
I’m aware I made a huge mistake today and cost the team a podium. I didn’t clarify the information and I thought I had a gap to the chasing riders until it was too late. It was a complete mistake and I’m so sorry to @FDJ_NAqui_FutJuly 31, 2021
We will come back stronger 💪July 31, 2021
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