Team VIRTU Cycling had a tough week at OVO Energy Women’s Tour
Team VIRTU Cycling participated in OVO Energy Women’s Tour in the UK last week. The race had a very unfortunate outcome for the team, where four riders crashed out of the race on stage 3.
Team VIRTU Cycling was off to a good start at OVO Energy Women’s Tour last week, when Sofia Bertizzolo gained mountain points and sprinted to a 6th place on stage 2, but a very unfortunate stage 3 put the good start to an end. A massive crash in the peloton had a disastrous outcome for the team, when Katrine Aalerud, Barbara Guarischi, Sofia Bertizzolo and Anouska Koster had to abandon the race due to injuries.
Going from 6 to 2 riders on one stage left Rachel Neylan and Sara Penton facing the final three stages on their own.
“Sara and Rachel raced very well the last three days on their own. They tried everything. Sara helped Rachel a lot to get into the climbs, so Rachel could have a chance to climb with the top riders,” says Sports Director Carmen Small
Rachel Neylan did what she could to make the most of the unfortunate situation.
“I was happy to have the condition to race well in the tough climbing in stage 4 and 5, finishing top 16 on both stages. I raced stage by stage and tried to be opportunistic. However, with a close general classification and valuable seconds available in intermediate sprint and finish, the race was kept well controlled, making an opportunistic move difficult to succeed.”
Rachel Neylan elaborates.
“I’m disappointed not to have made a better result in the end, but I need to put it in perspective and use it as a positive momentum towards the Giro in July.”
Katrine Aalerud, Barbara Guarischi, Sofia Bertizzolo and Anouska Koster are all on their way to recovery, and Carmen Small says most of them should be ready for the upcoming nationals.
“Fortunately we have time to reset before the Giro and return even stronger. The girls are recovering well, and all have a week or two before nationals. We plan for Barbara to be back fully recovered for BeNe Tour. The rest of the girls should be healthy enough to race nationals.”