Cocquio Trevisago > Cittiglio 141.7km
The women’s world tour continues with the 47th edition of this race. The route is the same as last year, with four laps of the tricky finishing circuit. To win this race you need to have your climbing legs, having a fast sprint is also a plus.
Beautiful sunshine and hardly any wind.
The Orino climb is always the main point of the race. The climb is 2.7km at 4.8% but does have a maximum gradient of 10%. Four ascents mean we get an elimination race, last time up crests with just 7.5km to go, most of which is downhill. It’s very hard to close any sort of gap that is created on the final climb.
Most teams want a tough race, so that’s what we’ll get. SD Worx again line up with the strongest team, but the gap between them and the others is smaller in this race. The hilly, but not mountainous route, favours quite a few teams. Trek – Segafredo are the defending champions, they have multiple options, which puts them into a strong position. You could argue that they are actually stronger than SD Worx in this race. The other team who’ll look to get involved will be FDJ, they have two strong options.
I think we’ll see the three teams mentioned gradually increase the pace lap after lap. The penultimate climb could well see a strong group get away, especially with the big teams all having multiple options, the move might not go on the last lap. We have some fast-finishing puncheurs in the race, the pure climbers need to make the Orino climb count and put them into difficulty. No one will want to take a rider like Coryn Labecki to the line.
Trek – Segafredo – defending champion is Longo Borghini, she’s their best option for this race. She didn’t start the season at her very best, but that’s understandable as the season is long. With the classics just around the corner, I’m expecting her to be very close to her best in this race, which is great news for the team. The climb is perfect for her, not many can follow her on this type of hill. If the race is easier than normal, they have Elisa Balsamo for a sprint. I’m looking forward to seeing Leah Thomas make her debut for the team, she could well turn out to be the best signing of 2022.
SD Worx – Ashleigh Moolman looks like their best option for this race, she was very strong in Strade Bianche. She’ll be supported by Cecchini, Van Den Broek-Blaak, Reusser, Shackley and Fisher-Black, which looks like a strong team to me. I hope to see Fisher-Black given freedom in this race, she has the punch required to cope with the main climb. This is the final year for Moolman, she’s wanting to end on a high, this race should be good for her.
FDJ – Cavalli and Ludwig provide the French team with two strong options. Both are very strong, but not the strongest in the race. To win against those who are stronger than you, the team need to get both options in the front selection and then use their numbers.
Soraya Paladin – she made the front group last year, that will give her confidence for this edition. She now rides for Canyon//SRAM, it’s a real shame that Niewiadoma is out due to COVID, as they would have made a strong pairing. Winning against those already mentioned will be tough.
Coryn Labecki – she’ll be the main captain for Jumbo-Visma, but the team are obviously much weaker without Vos. The American is a huge talent, but she’s struggled a little in recent years. I’m hoping her move to Jumbo-Visma will get her back to her very best, they know how to get the best out of their athletes. Labecki will need to hang tough on the climb, she’s the rider the climbers will be out to drop.
Ane Santesteban – she missed out on racing Strade Bianche after crashing during recon, but she’s now fully recovered and ready to roll. The Spaniard is a good rider, but she’s only won one race in her pro career, and that was back in 2013.
Arlenis Sierra – this is her debut for Movistar, an excellent signing by the team. Her current condition is unknown, but this is a race that suits her well. She climbs well and packs a fast sprint, perfect for this race.
I like the look of the Trek – Segafredo team, so I’ll take another win for Elisa Longo Borghini.