Queens of the Mountains

Today’s Queen stage of Setmana Ciclista Valenciana just happened to be the toughest parcours in the race’s history.

© Bob MacGregor

Three cat 1 climbs stood between the riders and the finish line in Vistabella del Maestrat. It was a good, although somewhat challenging day for CAMS-Basso.

“In the first 50km there were quite a few crashes,” explains Becky Storrie, “But we largely managed to stay out of trouble. My descending has improved each day and so I was able to stay with the main group before we got to the final climb. Just getting to that point had zapped pretty much most of the energy out of me, so I just emptied the tank and gave it everything I had left. I’m really pleased with the result.”

One rider who did get caught up in a crash today was Danni Shrosbree. She recalls her day, “For me personally it was a

© Bob MacGregor

bit of a shock. 10km in I hit the deck pretty hard. So then it was a mental battle just to get back on the bike and get back in the bunch, which I did manage to do so that definitely kept me going. As a team everyone did so well just to get through today because it was so hard with all the crashes and sketchy descents.”

Again during the live coverage we were treated to shots of the team working hard to stay in contact with the main peloton. When the inevitable attacks came from Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar) on the penultimate climb of the day there was only ever going to be one winner of the stage. She eventually crossed the finish line with over a minute’s gap to the next rider, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ).

© Bob MacGregor

Becky was our first rider across the line in a small group with other Brits, Pfeiffer Georgi (DSM) and Hannah Barnes (UNO-X). Team Manager, Simon Howes, shared his thoughts on the stage, “We had a good day today, with Becky finishing top 50, a fantastic performance. Maddie Leech, Meg Barker and Danni Shrosbree all finished this very challenging stage. It was terrific to see Danni remount the bike after her crash, despite being bloodied and injured, and to finish the stage where she did. Unfortunately we lost Hayley. She had a tough day today after a good couple of days of racing. I’m really happy with our performances overall.”

Tomorrow’s final stage looks slightly flatter, with just the one categorised climb on the menu.

Team Results:
46th Becky Storrie +10:39
74th Danni Shrosbree +16:09
113th Meg Barker +32:47
120th Maddie Leech +42:35
DNF Hayley Simmonds