Marta Bastianelli won with authority today the Belgian semi-classic Le Samyn des Dames (1.1) from Quaregnon to Dour (99.4km). First victory of the season in Europe for UAE Team ADQ, which matches the success that came last Sunday with Safiya Alsayegh in the UAE National Time Trial Championship.
Third podium in three races in Belgium for 35-year-old Italian rider Bastianelli (third on Saturday at Omloop Het Nieuswbland, second on Sunday at Omloop van het Hagelend and finally first today).
Today the efforts of the entire team were rewarded by Marta Bastianelli’s splendid victory. It was in the air after the positive performances in previous races and today the riders took the victory with head, legs and heart.
Chiara Consonni, Lizzie Holden, Eleonora Gasparrini, Laura Tomasi, Karolina Kumiega and Alena Ivanchenko with Batianelli were again impeccable in their work today. Always vigilant at the front of the peloton. In the passages on the cobblestones, the short climbs and the wind selected the group and several of our athletes remained at the front.
On the last short climb of the race, Marta Bastianelli accelerated decisively and opened a gap. On her wheel was only Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Uno X). The two increased their lead, Bastianelli used all her experience and in the last 150 metres sprinted past her compatriot.
Marta Bastianelli said after the finish line: “Belgium is my second home. Today we wanted as a team to get a good result. The day was tough for me because I was not feeling very well over the last few days but we applied the team plan perfectly and achieved victory. In case of a sprint finish we had to work for Chiara Consonni. And I was free to try from a distance on the last cobbled section. I seized the right moment, Confalonieri followed me and together we went all the way to the finish line. I apologise to Maria Giulia if I didn’t help her too much in the finale, but I didn’t really know how big the gap was and what was happening behind me. When I realised we had made it I gave it my all in the sprint and I am happy with this victory for me and for the team. It was an important victory for morale. This was a difficult race, with cold weather and coming after very demanding days and the result is never a foregone conclusion. There were some difficult situations, but in the end we were good at handling them, we never lost heart and we gained the victory, also repaying the splendid work of all our staff”.