No shortage of attacks from CCC-Liv in the third and final stage of the Amgen Tour of California. Among others, Pauliena Rooijakkers and Marta Lach broke away early in the stage. Pauliena lasted the longest on behalf of CCC-Liv and was only caught in the last two kilometres.
“In the final stage we wanted to defend Ashleigh Moolman Pasio's third place in the general classification. We knew in advance that moving up would be difficult, although we would certainly not miss a chance to do so”, says sports director Jeroen Blijlevens, who gave the strongly racing Pauliena Rooijakkers space to choose the attack.
“Pauliena was well doing well today. First she was in the lead with a larger group, later with a smaller group that had separated itself from the other escapees. When that group was nearly caught, Pauliena accelerated. Very good work.”
Pauliena embarked on the last 45 kilometres with Hammes. The two worked well together, but also saw that the difference was never greater than a minute and a half. Two more riders made the connection in the last ten kilometres, but even with that fresh impetus, the leading group did not stand.
Elisa Balsamo was the fastest in a sprint of a thinned peloton at the finish in Pasadena. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio crossed the line as 14th and held on to her third place in the general classification. Pauliena finished in a more than deserving 10th place in the final ranking. Anna van der Breggen took the the overall win.
“We have achieved the maximum with a very nice third place”, says sports director Jeroen Blijlevens. “I am also very satisfied with the way of racing today. We were in very good shape with Ashleigh, Pauliena and Marta. And Evy Kuijpers came close in getting to the front as well. She greatly impressed me.”
Photo credits: Cor Vos