Lizzie Armitstead wins the 2015 Trofeo Alfredo Binda and takes the overall UCI Women Road World Cup lead
138 riders took the start of the second round of the UCI Women Road World Cup in Cittiglio, under the northern Italian sunshine.
It was UCI World Champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot’s first road race in 2015, and wearing her brand new rainbow jersey meant she was going to be marked from the start.
Simona Frapporti (Ale Cipollini) initiated the first attack of the day. She built up a 42 second gap before being reeled back in by the peloton at the start of the first climb.
The field started lining out on the 4-km Cunardo climb, dropping riders at the back. This was the first real test of the day for the field, with a 6% average gradient. Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) was determined to ride the climb at the front, winning the first QOM of the day.
As suspected, the ascent of the Cunardo split the bunch and created a lead group of 20 riders. This was the moment which Katrin Garfoot (Orica AIS) chose to attack on the downhill creating a 1 minute gap on the chasing leaders.
The chasing front group was soon caught up by the next chasing groups on the road to create a big peloton once again.
Although the Boels Dolmans Cycling Team were pushing the pace at the front, Garfoot was able to maintain her gap as the race entered the local 17km circuit. But staying away for the four ascents of the Orino was not going to be easy.
As the peloton started the second ascent of the Orino, the speed picked up. Attack after attack from the bunch meant Garfoot was reeled back in after her fantastic 25-km solo effort.
The Boels Dolmans Cycling Team were clearly dominating today and Lizzie Armitstead was first up the second Orino ascent. Her attack was sufficient to create a 20 rider lead group at the start of the second last 17-km lap.
Lucinda Brand (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) attempted to escape out of the front group, but Boels Dolmans Cycling Team counter attacked on the third ascent of the Orino.
It was Anna van der Breggen’s turn to lead the group uphill. Her effort created a 6-leader group including all the favourites: Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team), van der Breggen (Rabo Liv), Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda), Lizzie Armitstead, Neff (Swiss National Team) and Amialiusik (Velocio-Sram).
After several attempts, Pauline Ferrand-Prévot was able to distance herself from her 5 breakaway mates. She was caught on the last ascent of the Orino by Armitstead, Longo Borghini and van der Breggen. Amialiusik and Neff soon caught back up.
At this stage, it was clear that today’s winner was going to be decided in a 6-up sprint. It was Ferrand-Prévot who initiated the sprint with teammate van der Breggen in her wheel, but Armitstead was not goingto let her chance go.
Lizzie Armitstead won Trofeo Afredo Binda-Comune di Cittiglio and now leads the UCI Women Road World Cup standings.
For highlights of the day including interviews, please log on to the UCI YouTube channel at tv.uci.ch.