Where there is a will, there is a way. As in 2016, Chiara Teocchi was the fastest on the way to the CX European title, riding again her Zolder disc to win the Women's Under 23 race at Cyclo-cross European championships in Tabor (Czech Republic) on Sunday, November 5th. Team Bianchi Countervail's athlete gave an encore after last year's triumph in Pontchateau (France), preceding Belgian Laura Verdenschot, after a shoulder to shoulder sprint, and Czech Nikola Noskova (+4).
Thanks to a fast start, Teocchi took the solo lead in the early race, before being caught by her closest pursuers Ceyli Del Carmen Alvarado (Netherlands), Yara Kastelijns (Netherlands) and Nikola Noskova. The latter attacked at the end of the lap-2, but the comeback of Belgian Laura Verdonshot created a 5-rider leading group. Teocchi opened a small gap again in the final lap, holding a 5-second advantage on the duo Verdonschot-Noskova. The Belgian came back on Teocchi's wheel with 300 meters to go, but the Italian perfectly handled the last two bends and timed her kick to clearly outsprint her rival.
TEOCCHI: "I KNEW I COULD DO IT, THIS WAS ‘MY’ RACE"
Teocchi couldn't hold her smile and happyness teardrops: "This is the podium I had imagined on the race's eve, I know how strong Verdenschot and Noskova are. What about me? I knew I could do it, you can’t make it two times in a row without convinction. In agreement with Massimo Ghirotto, we decided to focus on this race in the early season and I thought this would work out well for me. Maybe my start was too fast, but then I managed myself wisely, attacking in the final lap after the steps and recovering energies in the driven stretch. The Belgian was faster than me in the straights but I made the difference in the last bend and the sprint". While thanking her whole Team Bianchi Countervail, President Felice Gimondi, Team Manager Massimo Ghirotto and Italy National Team for their support, Teocchi has a special dedication: "This victory is Giorvanni Bartesaghi, an important figure of Italian Cyclo-cross, died prematurely a few weeks ago". Now Teocchi will enjoy a deserved rest, before coming back to race next December 8th in Faè di Oderzo (Italy).
GHIROTTO: "CHIARA NEVER MISSES BIG EVENTS"
Team Manager Massimo Ghirotto expressed his excitement for his rider’s achievement: "She was perfect, always leading the race and keeping an eye on the rival's moves. She attacked early in the final lap, Verdenschot was able to recover but not enough to precede Chiara, who was faster in the sprint. Particularly in this speciality Teocchi never misses the big events".
GIMONDI: "A CONFIRMATION AT THE HIGHEST LEVEL: TACTICALLY PERFECT"
Also Team Bianchi Countervail's President Felice Gimondi enjoyed another success from the Teocchi-Bianchi combo: "A really important victory, it's always hard to repeat. Chiara re-affirmed herself at highest levels, thanks to a tactically perfect race. We hope she keep on growing and improving, to rise and be competitive also in the Women's Elite series".
THE TEAM’S BIKES
Bianchi supplies the team with two high end carbon MTB models with racing geometry: the revolutionary Methanol CV and Methanol 29.1 FS (full suspension). The Junior Team is equipped with Methanol 29 SX model. Team Bianchi Countervail also ride Zolder disc in the cyclo-cross season.