Letizia Paternoster marked her return to road racing with a strong 3rd place at the first road stage.
Trek-Segafredo started the day down to four riders, after Ellen van Dijk left the race to join the Dutch Federation to travel to Japan for the Olympic test event. With two riders fewer than most teams it was going to be a tough day on the road, especially in this area with fast racing and narrow roads.
The Italian youngster made a good return to racing in the Trek-Segafredo colors after taking some time out to complete a successful track campaign at the European Games in Minsk. Paternoster comfortably made the swap back to her Trek Madone to sprint to a podium finish on Stage 1, the first road stage after last night’s prologue time trial where she finished in 11th.
It was a good day for us; the girls helped me all through the race and I am proud of them. We are already looking ahead to the next days to hopefully take a victory.
DS Ina-Yoko Teutenberg explained how the day panned out:
“It was a pretty uneventful day because there wasn’t much wind, otherwise the stage would have probably broken up in pieces. We knew we had somebody fast with Letizia so we didn’t need to push it to make it hard. The late break got caught and then it was just preparation for the sprint – as we only had four riders we made the plan that the girls would look after Letizia until delivering her to another team’s lead-out train for the sprint.”
It was nearly disaster for Paternoster in the finale as the rider in front of her crashed, however Letizia was able to react quickly to avoid her. Unfortunately, this left a big gap in the group at just 750 metres to go, which meant she had to put in a big effort to reach the group ahead but by this point the two in front were too far ahead to catch, leaving Letizia to settle for third.