Beat the Odds
Anyway you slice it, four against six made us the underdog. Festival Elsy Jacobs is a an annual favourite of mine (especially because there is fantastic online live coverage) but showing up with only four riders against the big teams of six meant it was going to feel like a new race.
Cille had made the podium in the prologue but, after being caught behind a crash, we all walked away from the second day disappointed. We were also down to just three riders going into the final stage thanks to a sore throat. It seemed like the odds were just too stacked against us but it’s not always a numbers game.
I broke away. It was my second break of the day and there were 40km left so I set more conservative tempo, hoping to attract some company. Race leader Christine Majerus and Alexis Ryan of Canyon-SRAM joined me which eventually enticed a large group across. As we merged, it was obvious everyone was waiting for the final hills to attack. Not me.
I caught everyone off guard. It wasn’t the textbook place to make a move but it was the perfect moment. I got away solo with only 20km of road until the finish and the chase was on. I drove it hard, feeding off the energy of having the biggest teams in the peloton hunt me down. I found out later Majerus was really feeling the pressure while Lotta played it perfectly cool.
Of course, sometimes it is a numbers game. Eventually I was caught but, even without a lead out, Lotta sprinted into second place. We might not have won but Cervelo Bigla definitely beat the odds.