After the Time-Trial races, the Road European Championships in Alkmaar (Netherlands) continued today with the first Road races.
The Women’s Under 23 race was won by one of the most important riders from the international scene, the Italian Letizia Paternoster.
For this rider from Trentino aged 20, this was a great team success. The Italian team controlled all the attacks in the first few kilometres especially those by the Britons Holden and Georgi.
A final group sprint was then inevitable and Letizia Paternoster achieved a decisive win over the Pole Marta Lach and the Dutch rider Lonneke Unneken.
For Letizia Paternoster, this was the first continental Road title after 15 titles won in Track, a discipline where she also won five World Championships.
In the Juniors, success by the Ukraine rider Andreii Ponomar with a great finish.
The race unfolded based around a long breakway with a group leading for over fifty kilometres comprising Maurice Ballerstedt and Marco Brenner (Germany), Andrea Piccolo, the winner of the day before yesterday of the Time-Trial, Tomas Trainini (Italy) and Enzo Leijnse (Netherlands) who were caught up approximately thirty kilometres from the finish by Andrii Ponomar (Ukraine), Lars Van Ryckeghem (Belgium) and Gleb Karpenko (Estonia). Behind him the eight leading men, the French riders were the most active in the pursuit but without any result.
Shortly before the last lap, approximately 13 kilometres from the finish, Ponomar attacked and gained a slight advance, whereas the chasers did not manage to organise themselves behind him. Ponomar was the controlling force in a great showdown and crossed the line 21” ahead of a group lead by the German Maurice Ballerstedt followed by the Italian Andrea Piccolo.
This day opened with the Women’s Junior event, raced in the rain consisting of a long series of attacks, the majority from the Italian and Dutch national teams, who only had a 10/15 seconds lead over the peloton.
It was the same in the last lap, when Ilse Pluimers broke away from the leading group and quickly gained a slight advance eight kilometres from the finish.
Behind her, the peloton did not manage to catch her up and Ilse Pluimers crossed the finish line alone 4” ahead of her pursuers with the sprint being won by her compatriot Sofie Van Rooijen followed by the French rider Kristina Nenadovic.
At the end of this day, the Netherlands, with 9 medals (4 gold, 2 silver and 3 bronze) are at the top of the medals table in front of Italy and Germany.
The European Championships continue tomorrow with the Men’s Under 23 Road race (138 kilometres, start at 9h00) and Women’s Elite (115 kilometres, start at 13h30).
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