In a thrilling display of skill and strategy, Eleonora Gasparrini seized her second win of the season at La Classique Morbihan in Josselin, France. The race, spanning 114.7 kilometres, concluded with Gasparrini out-sprinting her closest rivals, showcasing her formidable prowess and underlining her peak form this season.

The Italian Dominance Continues

La Classique Morbihan has become a favourable battleground for Italian cyclists, as demonstrated last year when Italian riders claimed the top four spots. Continuing this trend, Turin-native Gasparrini, riding for UAE Team ADQ, emerged victorious, adding yet another accolade to her already impressive career, which includes a junior European championship won in nearby Plouay in 2020.

A Challenging Course

This year’s edition featured a demanding final circuit, repeated four times, with a critical short climb leading up to the finish. The conditions were made even more perilous by rain and a slightly muddy road, adding an extra layer of challenge for the competitors. The day’s main break saw Omer Shapira clear solo for the bulk of the race before being caught later on.

A Masterclass in Teamwork

Gasparrini’s triumph was as much a victory for her as it was for her UAE Team ADQ. The race’s decisive moments came in the last 20 kilometres, where Gasparrini, along with teammates Dominika Wlodarczyk and Silvia Persico, took the lead. Their collective effort to control the race pace and fend off attacks laid the groundwork for the final sprint. Gasparrini praised her teammates for their efforts, acknowledging that their perfect execution in the finale was key to her victory.

The Final Sprint

As the race neared its conclusion, it was the coordination of Gasparrini’s team that positioned her advantageously. Wlodarczyk took the lead at the climb’s base, with Persico setting the pace up the climb. In the climactic moments, Marta Lach of Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling launched an early sprint with 170 metres to go. Gasparrini, ready for this move, strategically positioned herself on Lach’s wheel. Waiting for the right moment, she surged ahead in the last 50 metres, overpowering Lach to claim a stellar victory. Jade Wiel of FDJ-Suez secured the final spot on the podium.

Today’s podium (l-r) Marta Lach, Eleonora Gasparrini & Jade Wiel
(Photo Credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Reflecting on the Victory

Post-race, Gasparrini shared her thoughts, expressing immense satisfaction with both her performance and that of her team. “The technical circuit and the weather conditions made the race quite dangerous, but my teammates were incredibly adept at keeping me safe and in a prime position,” she said. Gasparrini also highlighted the emotional boost provided by seeing teammates return successfully from injuries to compete at a high level.

Looking Forward

With this win, Gasparrini not only cements her status as a top contender in women’s cycling but also continues a legacy of Italian success at La Classique Morbihan. Her victory is a testament to strategic brilliance, individual talent, and impeccable teamwork, promising an exciting season ahead for her and her team. As the cycling world turns its eyes towards the upcoming races, many will be keenly watching to see if Gasparrini can maintain her excellent form and tactical acuity. Tomorrow’s GP de Plumelec-Morbihan on similar terrain will give riders another chance to taste victory in Brittany.

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Main photo credit: Sprint Cycling Agency