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Boels-Dolmans aims for third straight Trofeo Binda win

16 March 2017

Two-time defending champion Lizzie Deignan headlines a strong Boels-Dolmans squad for third round of the UCI Women’s WorldTour. The back-to-back Trofeo Alfredo Binda defending champion will line up alongside Olympic road champion Anna van der Breggen, Chantal Blaak, Karol-Ann Canuel, Luxembourgish champion Christine Majerus and Amy Pieters on Sunday.

“I’m looking forward to racing for the first time with Anna,” said Deignan. “Perhaps our new combination will create a new tactic.” 

Van der Breggen has finished in the top ten at Trofeo Alfredo Binda for the last four years and twice in the top five. The Dutchwoman rounded out the podium in 2015 when Deignan recorded her first win in the then World Cup.

THE COURSE

Trofeo Alfredo Binda is a picturesque race held in the Varese Province of Lombardy. A circuit around Cittiglio – one large lap followed by four laps around a shorter 18-kilometre circuit – comprises the majority of the 131 kilometre route.

The short but steep Orino climb, which features on every lap, is typically decisive. It’s the main cause of attrition on the opening laps and a launching point for race-winning moves later in the afternoon. A tricky descent follows the climb before a slight uphill drag to the line.

“The climb is not too long for me, but it is too long for most sprinters,” noted Deignan, explaining why the course plays to her strengths. “I have a good sprint in comparison to most of the riders who can climb. The finish straight itself is uphill, too, so it suits a lightweight sprinter. It’s essentially an all-rounders course.”

A LOOK BACK

Deignan took an “accidental victory” last year when working for teammate Megan Guarnier. The pair were part of an eight-rider escape that formed on the penultimate lap.

Jolanda Neff (Switzerland) attacked on the unclassified Cuvio – a one-kilometre came at the start of the shorter loop – and quickly gained an advantage on the final lap. With the peloton closing in, Deignan chased and eventually jumped across, dropping Neff, to solo across the line. Guarnier’s group swallowed up Neff before the finish, giving Boels-Dolmans the 1-2 punch.

The win was Deignan’s second straight victory in Cittiglio. She won her first Trofeo Binda in 2015 in a six-up sprint.

A LOOK AHEAD  

The 2017 Trofeo Binda begins in Taino, a new start town. The peloton will travel from Taino to Cittiglio for the first passage of the finish line. From there, it’s the large opening loop followed by four times around the 18-kilometre circuit. Deignan hopes for a hard race. 

“We are hoping to make it three in a row for the team,” said Deignan. “We’re going in with the usual philosophy of a team win rather than a third straight victory for me. An aggressive race suits our strengths the best. 

“The final circuit is challenging, but we need it to hard enough to drop anybody who could potentially pose a threat in a sprint,” she added. “A small group of climbers with a Boels-Dolmans numerical advantage would be ideal.”

Podium predictations? Deignan can’t say. 

“It will be interesting to see which teams line up with which riders,” she said. “Some of the top women may choose Binda as a weekend to miss in terms of missing travel ahead of Flanders. Some riders may be racing as training. Others will focus on winning it. It’s a mixed bag, which makes it unpredictable.” 

RESOURCES

While there is no live television coverage for Trofeo Alfredo Binda, there is a pseudo-live stream. Race organisers offer a fixed camera on the finish line with Italian commentary. You can watch that here. The race begins at 13.30 CET with an anticipated finish around 17.00.

Typically RAI Sports show highlights on Sunday evening, and we should have UCI YouTube Highlights by Monday. We’ll share links to whatever we can find on our social media channels. 

OTHER RESOURCES:

Boels-Domlans for Trofeo Alfredo Binda:

Chantal Blaak
Karol-Ann Canuel
Lizzie Deignan
Christine Majerus
Amy Pieters
Anna van der Breggen

Boels-Dolmans aims for third straight Trofeo Binda win

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