Balsamo sprints to Trofeo Alfredo Binda victory

World Champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) took victory at the Trofeo Alfredo Binda, winning the finishing sprint from a reduced bunch in Cittiglio.

After a dynamic race with lots of attacks, things came back together on the descent to Cittiglio. On the finishing straight, Balsamo launched her sprint late, passing her competitors on the final metres.

Sofia Bertizzolo (UAE Team ADQ) and Soraya Paladin (Canyon-SRAM) rounded out the all-Italian podium behind Balsamo, who sped to her second victory of the 2022 season. With her victory, Balsamo also takes the lead in the UCI Women's WorldTour ranking.

Attacks flowed throughout the race, and all looked set for a sprint finish when Trek-Segafredo chased down a dangerous move at five kilometres to go.

SD Worx had other ideas as Chantal van den Broek-Blaak and Marlen Reusser went on the offensive late on, though both, too, were caught two kilometres out before the reduced lead group sprinted it out for the win.

"Today the team was perfect from the first kilometre to the last kilometre," said Balsamo after the race. "We did a great job! At the end, we managed the sprint perfectly, all the team was with me. To have the whole team working like we did… yeah, we were perfect today.

"I am feeling good, and my morale is high. I knew that if I could pass the last climb that I had a good chance in the sprint. I like this sprint and I knew that I had to make it short, and so I did. This race is one of the most important races of our calendar, and it is like a home race, so I am very happy.

"I really have to thank my teammates because at one point in the race we all decided to go for the sprint. Elisa, Ellen and Shirin were perfect – more than perfect – to support me. It was a great boost of confidence for me in this moment to have such great riders at my disposal."

How it unfolded

The race consisted of a short section from the starting town of Cocquio Trevisago to the finishing town of Cittiglio, followed by one long circuit of 44.4 km and four laps of a shorter 17.6 km circuit with two climbs, a short steep ascent to Casale and a longer, more gradual climb to Orino. However, a road accident on the race route caused a neutralisation halfway through the long circuit and forced a neutralised detour, adding a few kilometres to the race distance.

When the race was re-started near Cittiglio, the three early attackers, Gulnaz Khatuntseva (Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad), Michaela Drummond (BePink), and Giorgia Vettorello (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) were given the 30-second advantage they held when the race was stopped, and they quickly increased this to 1:45 minutes when they passed the finish line in Cittiglio with four laps to go.

Mikayla Harvey (Canyon-SRAM) tried to bridge to the front trio on the Orino climb, but they were all caught before the next passage of the finish line. On the antepenultimate lap, an attack by Brodie Chapman (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) on the climb to Casale led to a front group of eight riders who were 14 seconds ahead at the foot of the Orino climb. An acceleration by Team DSM's Liane Lippert closed this gap, and an attack by Marlen Reusser (SD Worx) and Anna Henderson (Jumbo-Visma) on the descent also came to naught.

Fewer than 30 riders were left in the peloton going into the last two laps. Erica Magnaldi (UAE Team ADQ) attacked on the Casale climb and got away, increasing her advantage to 13 seconds. But when Marie Le Net (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope) pushed the pace on the lower slopes of the Orino climb, Magnaldi was quickly reeled in.

Le Net's teammate Marta Cavalli launched an attack but could not get away, and her teammate Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig then counterattacked. The Danish climber held a slender advantage of eight seconds going into the descent where Reusser attacked from the peloton and passed Uttrup Ludwig, who was picked up by Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) and Elise Chabbey (Canyon-Sram).

This trio came up to Reusser just before the finish line, starting the final lap with a 19-second advantage on what remained of the peloton. As the front group could not agree to cooperate and only Chabbey continued to pull, the peloton came back on the Casale climb. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SD Worx) made a move but could not get away, and 22 riders entered the final ascent to Orino together.

Cavalli put in an attack with 10km to go that was followed by Lippert, Alena Amialiusik (Canyon-SRAM), and Moolman-Pasio. They got a small gap that was closed by Longo Borghini, and Cavalli immediately attacked again.

This time the gap was closed by Moolman-Pasio who kept up the pressure, with Uttrup Ludwig, Mavi García (UAE Team ADQ), Lippert, Chabbey, Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (SD Worx), and Cavalli jumping on her wheel. Lippert attacked again just before the top of the climb, dropping Chabbey and increasing the gap to the next group.

At the top of the climb, the peloton was 14 seconds behind, but Trek-Segafredo closed that gap with 5.3 kilometres to the line. Van den Broek-Blaak tried to launch a solo move but was brought back by Shirin van Anrooij (Trek-Segafredo) who controlled the group with her teammates Longo Borghini and Ellen Van Dijk.

A last attempt by Reusser with 2.4km to go was neutralised by Longo Borghini. In the final kilometre, Reusser brought the SD Worx train to the front, and Van den Broek-Blaak started her sprint very early, right after the last turn with 300 metres to go, possibly to lead out Elena Cecchini.

As Van den Broek-Blaak faded, Balsamo came past on her right with superior speed to take the victory. Bertizzolo and Paladin also passed the Dutchwoman on the final metres to round out the final podium.

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Pos.Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Elisa Balsamo (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women 3:36:29
2Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
3Soraya Paladin (Ita) Canyon-Sram Racing
4Chantal van den Broek-Blaak (Ned) SD Worx
5Elena Cecchini (Ita) SD Worx
6Coryn Labecki (USA) Jumbo-Visma
7Elise Chabbey (Swi) Canyon-Sram Racing
8Silvia Persico (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
9Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
10Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx
11Juliette Labous (Fra) Team DSM Women
12Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo Women
13Shirin van Anrooij (Ned) Trek-Segafredo Women
14Niamh Fisher-Black (NZl) SD Worx
15Katrine Aalerud (Nor) Movistar Team Women
16Floortje Mackaij (Ned) Team DSM Women
17Ane Santesteban Gonzalez (Spa) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
18Rachel Neylan (Aus) Cofidis Women Team
19Liane Lippert (Ger) Team DSM Women 0:00:09
20Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Trek-Segafredo Women 0:00:11
21Marlen Reusser (Swi) SD Worx
22Mavi Garcia (Spa) UAE Team ADQ 0:00:15
23Marta Cavalli (Ita) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
24Greta Marturano (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo 0:01:32
25Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Canyon-Sram Racing 0:02:33
26Marie Le Net (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope 0:05:04
27Marta Lach (Pol) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
28Arianna Fidanza (Ita) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
29Eleonora Camilla Gasparrini (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
30Letizia Borghesi (Ita) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
31Julia Borgström (Swe) NXTG by Experza
32Tamara Dronova (Rus) Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
33Silke Smulders (Ned) Liv Racing Xstra
34Eugenia Bujak (Slo) UAE Team ADQ
35Victorie Guilman (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
36Ella Harris (NZl) Canyon-Sram Racing
37Paula Patiño Bedoya (Col) Movistar Team Women
38Karlijn Swinkels (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women
39Amber Kraak (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women
40Krista Doebel-Hickok (USA) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
41Magdeleine Vallieres Mill (Can) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
42Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
43Jeanne Korevaar (Ned) Liv Racing Xstra
44Erica Magnaldi (Ita) UAE Team ADQ
45Sara Poidevin (Can) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
46Clara Koppenburg (Ger) Cofidis Women Team
47Sandra Levenez (Fra) Cofidis Women Team
48Ursa Pintar (Slo) UAE Team ADQ
49Brodie Chapman (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
50Urska Zigart (Slo) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
51Anna Shackley (GBr) SD Worx
52Noemi Rüegg (Swi) Jumbo-Visma Women
53Amanda Spratt (Aus) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
54Anna Henderson (GBr) Jumbo-Visma Women
55Sarah Gigante (Aus) Movistar Team Women
56Pauliena Rooijakkers (Ned) Canyon-Sram Racing 0:05:13
57Marta Jaskulska (Pol) Liv Racing Xstra 0:08:17
58Cédrine Kerbaol (Fra) Cofids Women Team
59Francesca Balducci (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
60Olivia Onesti (Fra) Cofidis Women Team
61Olga Zabelinskaya (Uzb) Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
62Sara Casasola (Ita) Born to Win G20 Ambedo
63Inga Cesuliene (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
64Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
65Mikayla Harvey (NZl) Canyon-Sram Racing
66Olivia Baril (Can) Valcar-Travel & Service 0:08:24
DNFFrancesca Baroni (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
DNFSofia Collinelli (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
DNFLara Scarselli (Ita) Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano
DNFLetizia Brufani (Ita) BePink
DNFMichaela Drummond (NZl) BePink
DNFMarketa Hájková (Cze) BePink
DNFNadia Quagliotto (Ita) BePink
DNFMatilde Vitillo (Ita) BePink
DNFSilvia Zanardi (Ita) BePink
DNFAnna Chili (Ita) Born to Win G20 Ambedo
DNFTatiana Chili (Ita) Born to Win G20 Ambedo
DNFSofia Clerici (Ita) Born to Win G20 Ambedo
DNFGiulia Luciani (Ita) Born to Win G20 Ambedo
DNFSilvia Magri (Ita) Born to Win G20 Ambedo
DNFCamilla Alessio (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
DNFLaura Asencio (Fra) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
DNFLara Vieceli (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling Team
DNFKathrin Hammes (Ger) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
DNFLauren Stephens (USA) EF Education-TIBCO-SVB
DNFEmilia Fahlin (Swe) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
DNFAinara Albert Bosch (Spa) Isolmant-Premac-Vittoria
DNFAlice Capasso (Ita) Isolmant-Premac-Vittoria
DNFAlice Gasparini (Ita) Isolmant-Premac-Vittoria
DNFEmanuela Zanetti (Ita) Isolmant-Premac-Vittoria
DNFAsia Zontone (Ita) Isolmant-Premac-Vittoria
DNFRachele Barbieri (Ita) Liv Racing Xstra
DNFAyesha McGowan (USA) Liv Racing Xstra
DNFKatia Ragusa (Ita) Liv Racing Xstra
DNFSara Martín (Spa) Movistar Team Women
DNFLourdes Oyarbide Jimenez (Spa) Movistar Team Women
DNFArlenis Sierra Canadilla (Cub) Movistar Team Women
DNFAmber Aernouts (Bel) NXTG by Experza
DNFMaureen Arens (Ned) NXTG by Experza
DNFCassia Boglio (Aus) NXTG by Experza
DNFGaia Masetti (Ita) NXTG by Experza
DNFFemke Gerritse (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFPien Limpens (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFQuinty Schoens (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFRosalie van der Wolf (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFAnne Van Rooijen (Ned) Parkhotel Valkenburg
DNFInes Cantera Carrasco (Spa) Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
DNFGulnaz Khatuntseva (Rus) Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
DNFLéa Stern (Swi) Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
DNFPetra Stiasny (Swi) Roland Cogeas Edelweiss Squad
DNFIsotta Barbieri (Ita) Servetto-Makhymo-Beltrami TSA
DNFSofia Barbieri (Ita) Servetto-Makhymo-Beltrami TSA
DNFSilvia Bortolotti (Ita) Servetto-Makhymo-Beltrami TSA
DNFMarina Ivanuk (Ukr) Servetto-Makhymo-Beltrami TSA
DNFViktoriia Melnychuk (Ukr) Servetto-Makhymo-Beltrami TSA
DNFAnna Potokina (Rus) Servetto-Makhymo-Beltrami TSA
DNFTeniel Campbell (TTo) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
DNFChelsie Wei Shi Tan (SGP) BikeExchange-Jayco Women
DNFFrancesca Barale (Ita) Team DSM Women
DNFLéa Curinier (Fra) Team DSM Women
DNFLeah Kirchmann (Can) Team DSM Women
DNFAafke Soet (Ned) Jumbo-Visma Women
DNFVania Canvelli (Ita) Team Mendelspeck
DNFEva Maria Gatscher (Ita) Team Mendelspeck
DNFElisa Lugli (Ita) Team Mendelspeck
DNFAlessia Missiaggia (Ita) Team Mendelspeck
DNFAngela Oro (Ita) Team Mendelspeck
DNFFrancesca Pisciali (Ita) Team Mendelspeck
DNFVanessa Michieletto (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFIris Monticolo (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFCristina Tonetti (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFGiorgia Vettorello (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFAlessia Vigilia (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
DNFAudrey Cordon-Ragot (Fra) Trek-Segafredo Women
DNFLeah Thomas (USA) Trek-Segafredo Women
DNFAlena Ivanchenko (Rus) UAE Team ADQ
DNFFederica Piergiovanni (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service
DNFElena Pirrone (Ita) Valcar-Travel & Service

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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.

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