02 September 2021
Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta: a stratospheric Marlen Reusser dominates the first stage
A stratospheric Marlen Reusser gives another day to remember to the team Alé BTC Ljubljana. The Swiss champion, with a splendid solo, has won today the first stage of Ceratizit Challenge by La Vuelta, 118,7 km from Cabeza de Manzaneda to A Rua. Twelfth victory of the season for the team directed by team manager Fortunato Lacquaniti and president Alessia Piccolo, the third in a UCI Women’s WorldTour race.
Impressive performance of the Swiss athlete, already silver medalist in the ITT of the Olympics in Tokyo 2020, which after being entered in the most important breakaway of the day, first in six, then remained in four in the final took charge of much of the work, uphill, downhill, in the plains and then the lone attack in the final. Joining Reusser at the front of the race were Coryn Rivera (Team DSM), Elise Chabbey (Canyon SRAM Racing) and Pauliena Roojkakkers (Liv Racing). The bunch was not ready to react and the escapees managed to gain a good lead. In the final the skirmishes began, with attacks and counter-attacks for the win and Marlen Reusser’s decisive attack came with 2.4km to go, when she made a strong start and immediately built up a decent lead and was never recovered by her rivals. She crossed the finish line 22 seconds ahead of her former breakaway companions, while the peloton, which was sprinted by Elisa Balsamo, arrived after 1’48”.
Marlen Reusser, of course, is also the first leader of the women’s Vuelta and tomorrow, in the second stage, a time trial of 7.3 km that will take place at the ski resort of Cabeza de Manzaneda, she will start with the leader’s jersey. A very important and prestigious success that repays the hard work of the whole team.
Clearly overjoyed Marlen Reusser commented after the finish: “I am so happy with this victory. I never expected anything like this this morning. Also because I was still very tired from the Simac Ladies Tour and the trip and in my head I was convinced that I had a rest day today and instead I found out that this morning I had to race. It was a crazy day. I didn’t think I would be in such good shape 20 days before such an important event for me as the World Championships and above all that I would be able to win today. At the end there were four of us in front and then I decided to go away alone and I found the right moment to surprise my opponents and win. I’m too happy”.