Today the Navarra Women’s Elite Classics was held on the roads of Navarra, with Riajanne Markus of the World Tour team, Jumbo Visma, as the winner. A day in which clouds and rain have been faithful companions to the riders who have provided an exceptional show on the roads of Navarra.
The day began with a neutralized start at 13:45 in the streets of Pamplona. A neutralized start of approximately 7 kilometers after which the official start was given in which the first attacks were quickly seen. Teams like Laboral Kutxa, Colombia Pacto por el Deporte or LifePlus Wahoo tried to get representation in the breakaway of the day. The first attempts did not succeed, however, when the big blocks such as Movistar Team, Team Jumbo Visma, Team Jayco Alula and UAE Team ADQ placed riders in a breakaway of 14 cyclists.
Overcoming the first walls in a compact group, the Biurrun wall has begun to make a selection due to its hardness, with ramps up to 21% that led several riders to drop from the leading group. A group that has been gradually reduced and, finally, the wall of Añorbe, a novelty in this route, has led the riders Mareille Meijering (Movistar Team), Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo Visma), Elena Pirrone (Israel Premier Tech Roland) and Ella Harris (Lifeplus Wahoo) to go ahead. The riders rode for almost 60 kilometers in the breakaway, while in the peloton the UAE ADQ team, which had lost its representation in the breakaway, pulled with all its squad to reduce a gap that at its best reached 3 minutes.
The climb to the top of “El Perdón” was decisive during the race. In the breakaway there were attacks that left Mareille Meijering and Ella Harris ahead, while in the group of the favorites there was a great selection following a high pace imposed by Jumbo Visma, that only big names like Riejanne Markus, Tamara Dronova, Floortje Mackaij or the Spanish Ane Santesteban could follow. On the wall of Zariquiegui the favorites managed to cut distance to the breakaways that were riding with a margin of approximately 30 seconds.
The last and decisive wall was that of Galar. The group of favorites gave chase to the breakaway at the beginning of the wall and immediately Riejanne Markus attacked and subdued her rivals at a pace that only Tamara Dronova (Israel Premier Tech Roland) and Ella Wyllie (LifePlus Wahoo) could follow. With ramps of up to 21% and an average gradient of 10.5% Markus made a decisive attack that left the group of three completely fragmented, being Wyllie acquitted by the chasing group.
After the wall, Riejanne Markus rode the last 10 kilometers of the race alone to finally take the victory at the finish line located on Avenida Sancho el Fuerte in Pamplona. After her, Tamara Dronova took second place on the podium and the very young LifePlus Wahoo rider achieved a meritorious third place beating great rivals like Eleonora Gasparrini or Floortje Mackaij in the sprint. The first Spanish rider to cross the finish line was Ane Santesteban of Team Jayco Alula. The first U23 rider was Ella Wyllie, who took third place.
On the other hand, the Jumbo Visma, to culminate with its impeccable performance, won the team victory of the race.
The awards were presented by Rebeca Esnaola, Minister of Culture and Sport of the Government of Navarra, Maitane Bueno Area Manager of Laboral Kutxa, Fernando Aranguren Councillor for Sport and Youth of the City Council of Pamplona, Iñigo Echaniz of Pinarello Spain, and Miguel Bados Director of Communication and Institutional Relations of El Corte Inglés.
A day of cycling on the roads of Navarre that leaves both the people of Navarre and the organization with a great taste in their mouths and a desire to continue working for future editions.