Sunweb’s van Dijk and Rivera go 1-2 in Madrid Challenge GC

Thanks to a winning performance in Saturday's team time trial, Sunweb took first and second place in the Madrid Challenge.

Photo: Getty Images

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Thanks to a winning performance in Saturday’s team time trial, Sunweb took first and second place in the Madrid Challenge Sunday with Ellen van Dijk in first and American Coryn Rivera second. Wiggle-High5’s Audrey Cordon-Ragot was third in the two-day Spanish race.

Sunweb’s riders had a healthy 18-second advantage on Wiggle-High5’s team after the 12.6km TTT in Boadilla del Monte. Mitchelton-Scott’s squad was third, 46 seconds slower in stage 1.

Stage 2’s 100.3km circuit through downtown Madrid was mostly flat, meaning those time gaps were insurmountable.

Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance) took the sprint victory in what may be the final pro race of her career. The Italian is retiring from racing to work as a director for the new Trek women’s team, which coincidentally, van Dijk will join for 2019.

Van Dijk credited smart tactics for defending her overall lead Sunday. She rode in the day’s breakaway even though the team originally was hoping for a stage win with Rivera.

“Our original goal was to go for the intermediates with Coryn but when the big break went, we had to adjust the plan,” the Dutchwoman said. “We still wanted to have the breakaway back before the final to sprint with Coryn, so the girls tried to chase in the bunch but there wasn’t enough help to be able to do so and me and Lucinda stayed away in the break until the finish.”

Mitchelton-Scott’s Sarah Roy was second in Sunday’s stage. Charlotte Becker (Hitec Products) was third.

Van Dijk rode to sixth on same time as the winner and Cordon-Ragot.

Rivera was 13 seconds back in 18th, still good enough to take the second step on the podium.

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