Trek-Segafredo have started on the back foot at the Vuelta a Burgos Feminas after missing the winning breakaway that saw Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange) take the stage 1 victory at Sargentes de la Lora.
The American outfit's powerful domestique Tayler Wiles went to the front of the peloton immediately after Brown, Elise Chabbey (Canyon-SRAM) and Niamh Fisher-Black (Team SD Worx) cleared the field in the final six kilometres. While she could not fully close the gap, she reduced it to five seconds.
“Those three are all very dangerous, all very good climbers, so I pulled as hard as I could, basically, until I could not pull any more, which was a little over one kilometre to go, and dropped off,” Wiles summed up her work.
The team had been visibly aggressive earlier on the stage, sending first Amalie Dideriksen and then Shirin van Anrooij on solo breakaways. The latter was reeled in just inside the 10-kilometre mark, setting the stage for the final.
The pace up the Alto de La Lora climb was steady, reducing the size of the peloton as more and more riders were dropped, but nobody attacked until Brown made her move just before the top of the climb, six kilometres from the finish, followed by Chabbey and Fisher-Black.
Wiles had also wanted to go with the move, but missed the moment: “I wish I had gone with the trio, but I was just a bit boxed in, so I could not quite get there. I tried to bridge, but they had too big of a gap,” Wiles explained.
Instead of possibly racing for the stage victory, the 31-year-old quickly changed her focus to supporting the general classification ambitions of her teammate Elisa Longo Borghini, giving it her all to reduce the gap between the front trio and what was left of the peloton.
“I wanted to protect Elisa’s GC because there are stages coming that are really good for her with some really long climbs. The three stayed away, but we minimised the time that they could have gotten, because I think the peloton might have sat up a bit too much otherwise,” said Wiles.
In the end, Wiles herself crossed the line 1:18 minutes behind, but her work meant that Longo Borghini finished in seventh place, only five seconds behind stage winner Brown, keeping the Italian champion’s GC ambitions intact.
The Vuelta a Burgos Feminas continues with stage 2 on Friday for a 97km race from Pedrosa de Valdeporres to Villarcayo.
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