2017 Women’s Tour stage winner Sarah Roy and two-time winnerGracie Elvin took and impressive one-two victory today forMitchelton-SCOTT in Gooik-Geraardsbergen-Gooik after attacking away together with 75kilometre to go.
Playing the game
In the early stages of the race, groups clipped off the front of the bunch but were all quickly reeled back in.
Once the race passed over multiple cobble sections and climbs, legs began to tire in the peloton. Roy slipped away over the Muur van Geraardsbergen and behind a group of seven riders formed.
Elvin then chose her moment to make a move and jumped across to Roy giving Mitchelton-SCOTT a big numbers advantage.
Brave lengthy move
With 75kilometres still to go, the duo of Elvin and Roy found themselves leading the race the Australian teammates worked together to open up their advantage very quickly.
With Williams able to sit and wait behind in the chase group with four other riders, the leading pair continued to increase their advantage with the peloton cruising a further two minutes behind.
With 35kilometres to go the Mitchelton-SCOTT pair had increased the gap to almost two minutes and it appeared that the chase group ran out of firepower and were unable to close the gap.
They continued to show their class, increasing their lead out to over three minutes with less than 10kilometres to go and the top two placings were secured.
Williams sprinted in for sixth place as Roy and Elvin crossed the line, hand-in-hand for the victory.
“That was such a cool way to win a bike race. We had a plan to be aggressive in Geraardsbergen so the whole team was setting the pace on the front and when we hit the Muur I just slipped off the front with Gracie and Georgia in the chase behind.
“Gracie attacked on the Bosberg and came across to me. We had a long way to go and on a lumpy course but we both felt good today and knew we had Georgia behind.
“Being away just the two of us and winning can’t get much better than that.”
“It doesn’t happen very often to win like this so we can enjoy it. Roy was strong and got away after Muur, I saw a good moment to attack to try and keep the move away and nobody came with me so I rode across to Roy and it worked.
“It definitely hurt, like a two-up time trial and wasn’t exactly the plan but also really nice to win like this. It was so special and really cool, it feels like a big win.”
1. Sarah Roy (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
2. Gracie Elvin (Mitchelton-SCOTT)
3. Elisa Balsamo (Valca PBM)