Navarra Women's Elite Classic: Markus solos to victory in late race attack
Riejanne Markus (Jumbo-Visma) attacked the reduced peloton to solo to victory at the 2023 Navarra Women's Elite Classic in Pamplona. Markus made her move in the final up-and-down 11 kilometres of the challenging one-day race.
Lone chaser Tamara Dronova (Israel-Premier Tech Roland) took second, crossing the line 47 seconds back. Ella Wyllie (Lifeplus Wahoo) sprinted out of the small chase group to take third, 19 seconds later.
The 135.5km Spanish race came down to the final 20km which featured three stiff ascents.
On the approach to the first climb, Alto del Perdon, with less than 30km to go the quartet of Elia Harris (Lifeplus Wahoo), Elena Pirrone (Israel-Premier Tech Roland), Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo-Visma) and Mareille Meijering (Movistar) had opened a gap of over a minute. Harris did a lot of the work whittling down the 15-rider breakaway which got clear with 110 kilometres to go.
With a strong headwind, Pirrone was the first rider to drop back and the trio charged on as they pushed up the penultimate climb of Muro de Zariquiegui.
On the final climb, the short Muro de Galar with its average gradient of 14%, Meijering attacked with only Harris able to follow her pace. The peloton, down to 12 riders, came back together on the descent leading to Markus’ attack.
Markus went all-in to the finish, not looking back until 500 metres to go to claim her first individual victory of the season and eighth of her career.
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