Sunday at the Trofeo Binda I won my first ever on-day-race in the WorldTour circuit! This victory was even more special because it arrived in Italy and with the rainbow jersey, the emotions I felt are really difficult to describe and my gratitude to the team is immense. In fact, once again, the girls of Trek-Segafredo were impeccable from the first to the last kilometer and guided and helped me in a perfect way!
As promised this article will be different than usual because I want to relive the race and describe it through YOUR QUESTIONS, thus being able to satisfy your curiosity! I have selected five questions among the many you have written to me choosing them among the most frequent ones!
“When did you realize that the race was putting itself in the best way in your favor?”
In the pre-race meeting on Saturday night we had hypothesized different scenarios: a solo attack by Elisa Longoborghini, a small brack away with Elisa or Ellen inside or a sprint finish for me. During the race we saw that it was not possible to take away a small break and at the sound of the bell we decided to organize ourselves for a sprint finish in the very small group in which we had remained. I understood that the race was going in the best way when we managed to stay all united and close to the last climb making a good pace and not leaving too much gap for the six girls who had attacked, when I saw that at the top of the hill we had about 10 seconds I understood that the race was under our control and that we could have done it.
“How did you figure out when it was the exact time to launch the sprint?”
The arrival of the Trofeo Binda is very insidious because it’s slightly uphill and therefore, even if after the last corner on the right, 300 meters from the arrival, you can already see the finish line, you must not be fooled and start too early otherwise you won’t have any strength in your legs left for the last 100 meters. Precisely for this reason I decided not to take the sprint too far in front, but to let someone else launch the sprint and come out only the last 100m. In a sprint it is never easy to understand what exactly is the right point to start, usually I study the last kilometers well to decide how to set up the sprint, but then it is the instinct to guide me in the race because the decisions must be made very quickly and hesitating even just a second can be lethal.
“How do you mentally reset yourself when in a race like Binda the race is neutralized?”
On Sunday the race was neutralized and stopped for about half an hour due to an accident that occurred on the race road. Initially I tried to stay focused on the race: I took the opportunity to drink and eat, taking some additional gel to put in my pocket and I thought about how it could change our race tactics. Then, when I realized that we would have to wait several more minutes, I tried to relax and release the tension. I chatted a bit with my teammates and with my friends to try to pass the time. When the race started again I knew that the pace would be immediately high and I tried to stay in the top positions to warm up my legs again and not be taken by surprise in case of attacks. I must admit that mentally it was not easy, I simply wanted to get back on the bus in the heat, but I’m very competitive and as soon as I heard the start my head went into “race mode”. I am not a person who likes to stop even during training for a coffee break, but on Sunday in my head I thanked my teammates who on the recovery days before the races have accustomed me to stop during the easy ride to get a coffee or a juice!!!
“Can you describe the emotions you felt when you realized you had won?”
After the finish line I was really happy, it’s difficult to describe exactly the emotions I felt: winning a WorldTour race in Italy with the rainbow jersey! I don’t think you can ask for more! Undoubtedly these beautiful moments are unforgettable and help me to continue my training with great determination and to make sacrifices to try to win again! Winning with the world champion jersey is like being able to touch the sky with a finger!
“Do you have fun while running?”
Yes, I really had a great time! Because I immediately found the right feeling with my teammates, we always had the situation under control and we were united from the first to the last kilometer. When I realized that I could win, the adrenaline skyrocketed and this beautiful day ended in the best way with a fantastic victory! There is nothing more beautiful than having fun like this while doing your job!
I hope I have managed to satisfy your curiosity! I also update you on my calendar:
- 23rd of March: Brugge-De Panne
- 27th of March: Gent-Wevelgem
- 3rd of April: Ronde Van Vlaanderen
Emanuela Sartorio and Bettini Photo’s pictures