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Anna Sanchis reclaims Spanish National Time Trial Championship

Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Anna Sanchis reclaimed the Spanish National that she held in 2012 and 2013 with a dominant display over the hilly course in Cáceres, in the west of the country, close the the border with Portugal. The 27-year-old from Valencia completed the 26km in a time of 36 minutes, 21 seconds, in an average speed of 42.916kph, to beat Sheyla Gutierrez (Lointek) by 59 seconds. Defending champion Leire Olaberria (Fullgas) was third, another 21 seconds back.

“I feel really good. I felt good in the Emakumeen Bira, and then at home I trained really well,” said Sanchis, who had finished as best Spanish rider in the Basque stage race earlier this month. “I felt good every day, no allergy problems; which is probably the most important, because sometimes I can’t train for that! But now I feel okay!

“Yesterday, when I saw the parcours, I thought it was very, very good for me, because it was really hard. 26km, but really, really hard at the end, where there were two little climbs. When I saw it yesterday I said ‘tomorrow I can win!’”

As one of Spain’s most talented riders Sanchis had to endure a torrid 2014, with a  serious virus preventing her from performing at anything close to her best. Her results in Bira, and now the reclaiming of her time trial title, hopefully confirm that the 27-year-old Valenciana is returning to top form.

“Last year I had a virus and I didn’t arrive here very good,” Sanchis explained. “But yesterday I told [Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling Team Manager Rochelle Gilmore] that I can do a good time trial, and I did today. I felt good at the start, from the first K, and I’m happy!”

With her Rojigualda Spanish flag jersey secured in the time trial, Sanchis now faces the prospect of trying to win back the road race title that she had also taken in 2012. As the only representative of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling on the start line, however, she knows that it will be far from easy.

“Tomorrow we have the road race, but this is a little bit more difficult for me, because I am alone and a lot of people have teams,” Sanchis explained. “It’s not easy, but I will try. The course is not very hard, and the big problem is that I am alone, but I will try and… maybe!”

Meanwhile, in Postel, near Mol in the province of Antwerp, Belgium, Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling’s Jolien D’hoore took the Silver Medal in the Belgian Time Trial Championships, in an event she last entered in 2010. The 25-year-old, who will defend her Road Race Championship on Sunday finished one minute, 41 seconds behind defending champion Ann-Sophie Duyck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Pro-Duo), and seven seconds ahead of Sofie De Vuyst (Lensworld-Zanatta).

“It wasn’t really a goal,” D’hoore said afterwards. “I just came here to test my legs for Sunday, so I’m pretty happy with that.”

As a sprinter, and Classics specialist, D’hoore was not expecting to be able to take the black, yellow and red time trial jersey from Duyck, who finished just 24 seconds shy of last year’s World Championships podium in Ponferrada, Spain.

“She was fifth in the Worlds, and she’s really at World class level in the time trial, so it was expected that she would win,” D’hoore said. “She was the top favourite and she deserved to win.”

Like Sanchis, D’hoore will be the sole representative of Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling in Sunday’s Belgian Championship Road Race, where the 25-year-old will be going all out to retain her title.

Result Spanish Time Trial Championship
1. Anna Sanchis (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)

2. Sheyla Gutierrez (Lointek)
3. Leire Olaberria (Fullgas)

Result Belgian Time Trial Championship
1. Ann-Sophie Duyck (Topsport Vlaanderen-Pro-Duo)
2. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling)
3. Sofie De Vuyst (Lensworld-Zanatta)

Spanish Podium Photo Credit: RFEC

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