On Thursday morning, after a whole week on the track to prepare the next european championships, we took the plane to fly to Madrid ready and hoping to end this strange season in the best way.
Since a few days before, my trainer and sportiv director Davide Arzeni was cheering me with this words: “We can make it! We are one of the best teams in this kind of races”.
Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta was made of three stages: the first was hilly, the second was an individual time trial and the third was completly flat.
The first day went pretty good, the stage has been really fast and with a lot of wind and no one of the teams could make the difference during the race. We arrived at the last kilometer all together and, as the las 700 mt were on a hill, the sprint has been very particular. My teammates did a great job so that I could take the wheel of the german Brennauer, who did the last hundred meters with an incredible acceleration, I was in the perfect position but unfortunately Lorena Wibes has been faster than me. Starting this little stage race with a second place gave me some motivation even if I knew I could have done a better sprint if I hadn’t got the wrong gear, it was too easy.
The ITT of the second day was my weakness, I know I have to work more with this particular bike to find greater affinity with it and to accustom my body to this kind of effort. Despite that I gave my best, unfortunately the weather didn’t help because I had to race the whole time under the rain. I arrived with one minute gap from the winner of the stage, so I was out of the games for the general classification, but I kept beeing concentrated on the last stage.
Yesterday we had to ride seventeen laps of a circuit that wasn’t particulary thechnical, but insidious because on the arrival side the road went up slightly. Every two laps there were intermediat sprints with bonus seconds for the general classification, me and my team didn’t care about this sprint, we were fully concentrated on the last one. Once again we demonstrated our capacity on making a great lead out, my teammates left me at 170 mt to the finish and in that moment I could see Wibes starting the sprint from the right, I took her wheel and in the last meters I managed to pass her! The road was going up, in this kind of finishes you need to have the courage to wait until the end, I’m glad I interpreted it that way!
Raising your arms to the sky is always an indescribable emotion, even greater if you can share it with extraordinary teammates and staff such as those of Valcar – Travel&Service!
When someone said that cycling is an individual sport, should whatch the images of yesterday’s last kilometers and the ones right after the finish of the race!
Ending the season like that has been amazing!
Now it’s time for the last competition of the year before some deserved rest period: the track’s european championships.
Twila Federca Muzzi’s pictures.