All images: ©Tino Pohlmann
The first women's Liége-Bastogne-Liége was yesterday won by Anna van der Breggen (DLT) in a podium repeat for each race of the Ardennes classics.
The hilly 135km race wasn't shy of early attacks and while CANYON//SRAM Racing were reduced to four riders going into the final third of the race, Tiffany Cromwell tried to make the most of her chances on a solo breakaway before the steep La Redoute climb. An elite group caught Cromwell and soon after, on the penultimate climb, the winning break of five riders was made.
"It was more aggressive than I was expecting in the early part as everyone was trying to be up the road. We shared the early workload trying to keep our leaders for as late as possible. I'd been dropped on the long Côte de Vecquée but didn't give up and gradually made it back. As soon as I made contact I made the call we'd attack. I was the first to go and I got a gap that gave me a small advantage into Côte de La Redoute and although I couldn't keep the pace of the leaders when they caught me I was glad that we'd tried something," Cromwell said.
"The girls were communicating well and when Pauline (Ferrand-Prévot) said early that she wasn't feeling good we quickly changed our plan. I think Alena (Amialiusik) did well and she rode strong despite being out the front alone by herself in the latter parts of the race. It's great to see her getting back to stronger form."
Cromwell said "It's been a tough Ardennes campaign for our team but we put on a strong fight despite lacking some top end strength. We now reassess things from our whole spring campaign. We'll be back stronger and fighting harder for the next races."
Following the race Director Sportif Barry Austin said "We had high ambitions for the Ardennes week of racing. Although we made some very important steps in some areas towards fulfilling these ambitions, we did not achieve the results hoped for. This has however sharpened out senses to work in the areas lacking so we go into the next part of the season as a solid and exciting team."
The team will next race Tour de Yorkshire on Saturday 29 April in England. Before Saturday's race, British road champion Hannah Barnes and German road champion Mieke Kröger will be leading a morning ride from the Rapha Manchester Clubhouse on Thursday 27 April, followed by a Q & A evening with the Cycling Podcast. The events are open to everyone and women are especially encouraged to come and ride with us! Details here.