The Dutchwomen wins the final stage with a solo win, claiming also the general classification. On the final podium also Gaia Realini, third.
Shirin is back. And she did it in style. Today, in the super tough final stage of the Tour de l’Avenir Femmes, the European U23 champion won by a clear margin over her rivals (2’20” over Britain’s Shackley, second), taking the daily victory and also the final classification of the race. Shackley took the runner up spot, whilst on the third step of the podium was also Gaia Realini, who was fourth today.
For Van Anrooij, today’s race was a result of an all-in effort, where her talent once again emerged as we saw already l in the spring, when she won the Trofeo Binda and a series of important placings in the classics.
Well, it’s not easy to explain what happened today. I was also surprised by myself. I had very good feelings on the bike in the morning and I just went for it. In the end, it worked out very well.
It was definitely not an easy race for me this week. I crashed hard on the second day and, even today, I had a front wheel mechanical. That was a very frustrating moment, but I kept my focus on the race and just went full gas. My legs were so good that they helped me avoid thinking about anything else and, to be honest, that approach is sometimes a really good one for me.
Gaia [Realini] was really strong on the final climb and I wanted to close the gap and attack before the long descent. I knew that was the right part for me to make the difference and go solo. That happened and it was the perfect situation for me. Then, the motivation of the race, with my National team, was a super boost of confidence to push myself as much as possible.
I’m really happy with my season so far and satisfied to add this maiden win to my palmares. I feel surprised about myself as the last months were not really easy. I worked really hard for the Nationals and the Giro, two of my biggest goals of the season, but I felt so bad there and I wasn’t able to get what I was looking for. It was a bit of a mental struggle. I took ten days off the bike to reset, to regain my confidence. I think this week, especially today, showed that everything is back in its place. I’m happy I showed it today.
Now there’s Simac Ladies Tour in my schedule, the rest is still to be confirmed. But I want to enjoy this win first, which brings me great satisfaction and definitely shows an improvement in my growth. This win has made my season really successful.