British rider wraps up her first stage race win
Hannah Barnes took her second stage win in four days at the Setmana Ciclista Valenciana to complete overall victory in the Spanish stage race
Having moved into the race lead with victory on the opening stage of the race on Thursday, Barnes lost it on Saturday to Marta Bastianelli (Ale Cipollini), who won the second and third stages.
However going into the final stage just one second off Bastianelli’s overall lead, Barnes produced an aggressive ride that would ultimately be rewarded not only with the stage win, but also her first ever stage race victory.
The final stage covered three laps of a 40km circuit around Benidorm, each circuit covering the second-category climb of Finestrat.
There may have been 22 riders within a minute of the lead going into the stage, but the race would essentially come down to nine women who were able to escape from the main bunch and open a lead of more than two minutes over the testing parcours.
Only four teams (Cervelo Bigla, Canyon-SRAM, Movistar, and FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) were in the move, meaning there were riders willing to sacrifice their own chances for their team-mates, with Barnes enjoying a deluxe lead-out duo of Pauline Ferrand Prevot and Kasia Niewiadoma for the finale.
Put in a perfect position for the sprint, Barnes narrowly held off Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio for her second win of the race, taking overall victory by 17 seconds.
Setmana Ciclista Valenciana 2018, stage four: Benidorm to Benidorm, 119km
1. Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM, in 3-07-00
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla
3. Alicia Gonzalez (Esp) Movistar
4. Mavi Garcia (Esp) Movistar
5. Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
6. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope
7. Cecile Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla, all at same time
8. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM Racing, at 33 secs
9. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM Racing, at same time
10. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale Cipollini, at 2-39
Final general classification
1. Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-SRAM, in 12-47-11
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo Bigla, at 17 secs
3. Alicia Gonzalez (Spa) Movistar, at 25 secs
4. CecileUttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla, at 32 secs
5. Eugénie Duval (Fra) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, at 33 secs
6. Mavi Garcia (Esp) Movistar, at 34 secs
7. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM, at same time
8. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope, at 36 secs
9. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Canyon-SRAM, at same time
10. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale Cipollini, at 2-54