Elena Cecchini has finished second in a small group sprint in yesterday's UCI 1.1 Dwars door de Westhoek. The Italian national champion placed second behind Christine Majerus (DLT), while Emma Johansson (WHT) was third.
With crosswinds, climbs and narrow roads the large peloton was quicky reduced in size for the 127km race. The initial front group of 27 included all five riders of CANYON//SRAM Racing. Each time over the Rodeberg climb the pace set by RaboLiv would reduce the group and at the end it was 9 riders who were in contention for the win. While Cecchini was led into the cobbled sprint by team mate Alexis Ryan, it was Marianne Vos (RLT) who took the lead but crashed into a barrier in the last 50m. Majerus then came around for the win.
Cecchini said, "I can be happy with second place today. I mean they were just faster in the end. Alexis and I worked well together. I'm now starting to understand more myself about tactics and not just to understand but to make decisions quickly. So for me this is a good step."
Cecchini was supported by Alexis Ryan in the front for the whole race. The pair displayed strength and smart tactics to deliver a podium result. "Alexis did a great job for me. In the final she led me into the cobbled section and I was first onto it. It was just too long for me, a slight headwind, and in the end I can only say that they were just faster."
Cecchini capped off a great weekend for CANYON//SRAM Racing after Lisa Brennauer took a win in the Omloop van Borsele individual time trial on Friday evening. The following day Barbara Guarischi won Omloop van Borsele road race, supported by Cecchini. The team will now go to Gracia Orlová tour in Czech Republic. The four day stage race starts on Thursday 28 April.