The Cynisca riders continue to gain valuable European racing experience and improve their skills while representing their team and sponsors well. In August, the team raced in six single day races in France and Belgium and a stage race in Italy. They have kicked off September with two stage races in France and Ireland. Seven European races remain this season, plus Big Sugar Gravel back in the USA.
5 – 11 September: Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche, seven-day stage race
Cyniscas: Ashley, Chloé, Émilie, Fiona, Greta, Pauline
Le Tour Cycliste Féminin International de l’Ardèche is seven-day stage race through the stunning departments of Ardèche, Drôme, Gard, Lozère and Vaucluse. The race is renowned for demanding courses including hilly to mountainous terrain. The region is also the home of Team Captain Greta Richioud, and her fans and the media let us know they cared. After a tough week of racing, Greta finished 18th in the GC.
Highlights from the week in l’Ardeche included:
Stage 1: The team executed the plan perfectly, with Fiona taking 7th in the sprint, and Greta, Pauline & Ashley all finishing with the same time as the leaders.
Stage 2: The team got into a few early splits, but the race was brought back together for a final sprint with Greta grabbing 14th, and Fiona, Ashley & Pauline with the same time as the leaders.
Stage 3: Émilie bridged into a three-women break along with Cynisca supported USA Cycling rider Natalie Quinn. Although the break was caught by the end of the stage, we are thrilled to see Émilie racing strong again following a mid-season illness.
Stage 4: Pauline powered her way into a break of eight that stayed away, and she nabbed a 5th place finish in the stage. Greta, Ashley, and Émilie set Fiona up for the bunch sprint where she finished 14th overall for the day.
Stage 5: The Queen stage of the race with the finish going up Mt. Lozère saw the eventual race winner – World Tour rider Marta Cavalli – take time out of most of the field. Greta and Ashley stayed in the top 25, about three-minutes back in a stage where some riders lost as much as 24 minutes.
Stage 6: The entire team was motivated to help Greta in the finish today as this was her hometown race. Greta ended the day in 14th place.
Stage 7: The final stage was fast and furious with just over two hours of racing. The team finished most of the stage race strong with teamwork to help Greta towards a stage win. Unfortunately, Greta was isolated going into the finale but still managed 22nd for the stage.
6-10 September: Rás na mBan, Ireland, five-day six stages race
Cyniscas: Cara, Claire, Mara, Nicole
Rás na mBan (pronounced “Raws na mon” – literally “women’s race”) was established in 2006 and is Ireland’s only women’s international stage race. Based out of Kilkenny, it runs for five days and six stages totalling over 400km of racing action.
Cara and Claire, two of the more experienced Cyniscas were able to support our stagiaires Mara Roldan and Nicole Steinmetz, who joined us for the remainder of the season. This was Claire’s second time to race Rás na mBan, and she noticed huge improvements in race fitness and confidence compared to last year. Nicole steadily improved her position through the week, and came away with 20th in the GC. Unfortunately, Mara was caught up in a crash, ending her race after Stage 1. Cara continues to be a consistent team player and wise racer.
24 – 27 August: Giro Toscana Int. Femminile, Four-day Stage Race in Tuscany, Italy
Cyniscas: Anna, Ashley, Cara, Claire, Fiona, Greta
Giro Toscana Int. Femminile is an elite women’s stage race that has been held in the Tuscany region since 1995. Following a slow start in the Stage 1 time trial, the Cyniscas bounced back for a strong showing in Italy. Team Captain Greta led the charge, barely missing the podium for 4th place in Stage 2 and improving to a 14th place GC finish at the end of the four stages. Ashley was awarded a special jersey for sportsmanship. The team was thrilled to have Émilie return to racing after a summer of illness and recovery.
18, 19 & 22 August: Konvert Koerse 126 km; Oetingen 120 km; Egmont Belgium 128 km
Cyniscas: Anna, Cara, Chloé, Claire, Fiona, Katherine, Pauline, Mara, Nicole
Fiona led the team through a tough slate of Belgian races. Her results included 10th place at Egmont Race as well as 21st place in a stacked field at Konvert-Koerse.
13 August: La Picto-Charentaise, 119.9 km from Poiters to Châtellerault, France
Cyniscas: Ashley, Cara, Chloé, Greta, Katherine, Pauline,
Cara was a highlight for her success in helping the team during the first two-thirds of the race. She assisted Greta and Pauline with positioning in key moments. In addition, she helped with getting bottles from the car which was essential in this hot race. Greta was again a standout for the team, showing consistency and leadership as a road captain should.
Results: Greta Richioud 29 with the rest of the team finishing in the pack.
12 August: La Perigord Ladies. 116 km from Dordogne to Boulazac, France
Cyniscas: Anna, Ashley, Chloé, Claire, Fiona, Greta
La Perigord presented difficult rolling terrain with three mountain classification climbs and three points sprints. The final city circuit is short and fast with a dragging climb. Claire did her job in the first third of the race to helping Greta and Fiona with positioning as well as covering dangerous breakaways. Greta, Ashley, Fiona, and Chloe were in a good spot to deliver on final circuits.
Results: Greta Richioud 29, Ashley 32, Chloe 50, Fiona 55
1 August: Kreiz Breizh Feminin, 143.3 km from Callac to Pabu, France
Cyniscas: Anna, Cara, Claire, Fiona, Greta, Katherine
Greta and Anna made front split, and Fiona bridged across for more numbers in the front. Although the three raced well together, they were eventually dropped by the overall winners during the final 36 km – six-lap finishing circuit in Pabu. Claire put in great teamwork leading into first QOM to help the team with positioning. Greta took 18th overall for three UCI points.
Results: Greta 18; Fiona 27; Anna 28; Katherine 43
- September 11, 2023