It was a case of déjà vu at Setmana Ciclista - Volta Comunitat Valenciana Fèmines as Elisa Balsamo took the win on her first race day of the year.
The Italian champion showed that she is once again starting the year as she means to go on with a dominant performance on stage one of the four-day race.
Trek-Segafredo was a team on a mission and came into the day with one game plan: set Balsamo up for a sprint victory…
and she delivered!
😍 Otro año más, la #SetmanaCiclista23 empieza hablando italiano.
2ª victoria para @Elisa_balsamo – @TrekSegafredo.
— Setmana Ciclista – Volta Femenina de la CV (@SetmanaCiclista) February 16, 2023
It was a relatively calm day for the majority of the 119-kilometer stage but the Team kept their cool, only coming out from the bunch before the finale to help close the gap to a late solo leader. A technical finish with around ten roundabouts in the last seven kilometers didn’t faze Trek-Segafredo’s six riders and they brought Balsamo and her final lead-out rider, Ilaria Sanguineti to exactly where they needed to be.
Sanguineti dropped her teammate, and compatriot, off with 250 meters to go and from that point it was clear Balsamo would not give anyone the chance to challenge her for the win. After doing a perfect job for Balsamo, Sanguineti was able to carry her speed towards the line and even after celebrating the win behind the finish line, she was able to take fifth place.
We can’t wait to see what Elisa and Ilaria can do together this year!
#SetmanaCiclista23 The first of hopefully many wins from this speedy duo!
Elisa 🤝 Yaya pic.twitter.com/MuCIjft3EH
— Trek-Segafredo (@TrekSegafredo) February 16, 2023
“I was a little bit scared because you never know how your condition will be at the start of the season. I was coming from the European track championships so it was quite a lot of time without the road bike. Today my team did a great job, on the first climb I was little bit full gas but then everything was perfect. The final was crazy but Yaya was really amazing, it was just super fun working again with her. This win means a lot for me. It’s always difficult during a race to find the good timing and be in the right place at the right moment for a chaotic sprint finish like this one, but yesterday we saw with Ina [Teutenberg, DS] the last KM so that today we were prepared for the finish. It would be a dream to have a season like last year. Last year was just amazing. I really hope to have a good start to the season.”