American Coryn Rivera won her first race for new squad Sunweb after six victories for UnitedHealthcare, taking the sprint in Sunday’s Trofeo Alfredo Binda, the third round of the Women’s WorldTour. It was a race characterized by several small, short-lived breakaways.

The women had 131.3-km to ride, a route that consisted of an opening section of 22.4-km, a big circuit of 38-km and then four laps of 18-km, each with the 3-km Orino climb, where the action would be sure to kick off. After the final climb up Orino, there was 7-km descent and rolling terrain before the finale, 500-metres of slightly uphill to the line Cittiglio.

Could Lizzie Deignan win her third Trofeo Alfredo Binda in a row? Or Marianne Vos her fourth? How would the winner of Strade Bianche, 2013 title holder Elisa Longo Borghini, fare? Could Pole Katarzyna Niewiadoma of WM3 match her countryman Michal Kwiatkowski’s heroics in Saturday’s Milan-San Remo?

Four Canadians were in action: Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb), Karol-Ann Canuel (Boels-Dolmans), Joëlle Numainville (Cylance) and Alison Jackson (Bepink Cogeas).

There were a few crashes that in the opening section underscored the nervousness of the peloton. Then Alé Cipollini’s Anna Trevisi (Italy) skipped away on her own. Trevisi’s spirit drew two compatriots. Trevisi won herself $287 going through two intermediate sprints, but the trio was brought to heel as the race entered the large circuit.

The high pace and the Cunardo climb at the 35-km mark spit riders including Olympic gold medalist Anna van der Breggen out the back. Hungarian Mónika Király of S.C. Michela Fanini Rox took the mountains points at the top of Cunardo.

Anna Stricker (Italy/BTC City Ljubljana), who had also pulled in $287, took off and found Latvian Lija Laizane as company when the race entered the four finishing circuits. The first trip up Orino was too much for the Latvian. And by the top, Stricker had surrendered too.

With 53-km to go, another rider tried her luck. Orica-Scott’s Jessica Allen dashed away. By the second clamber up Orino, Anna Ceoloni (Italy/S.C. Michela Fanini Rox) was trying to bridge over. Only Allen eluded the peloton; with two laps to go the Australian held 40-seconds over the peloton.

The race came together at the top of the Casalzuigno climb of Lap 3. Allen’s compatriot Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) scampered away towards the base of Orino but once more the race compacted. Relentless pressure continued to streamline the peloton before the final lap.

A powerful quartet shook loose just before the final lap: Vos, Katrin Garfoot, Shara Gillow and Alena Amialiusik, but it was too much of a threat and enjoyed only a brief existence. Down the descent of the Casalzuigno Garfoot took off again, this time with six including Longo Borghini and Niewiadoma close behind.

The Italian and Pole whizzed past Garfoot at the top of Orino but were themselves swept up by a pack of 30-riders soon after. It would be a reduced field sprint in Cittiglio. In the final rising stretch Rivera was clear with two other riders and stayed ahead of Cuban Arlenis Sierra for the big win.

Jackson was top Canadian in 30th place.

Longo Borghini’s seventh place keeps her in the WorldTour lead. The next WorldTour race is Gent-Wevelgem next Sunday.

2017 Trofeo Alfredo Binda
1) Coryn Rivera (USA/Sunweb) 3:25:26
2) Arlenis Sierra (Cuba/Astana) s.t.
3) Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Denmark/Cervélo-Bigla) s.t.
30) Alison Jackson (Canada/Bepink-Cogeas) +0:46
43) Leah Kirchmann (Canada/Sunweb) +2:06
88) Karol-Ann Canuel (Canada/Boels-Dolmans) +9:46
89) Joëlle Numainville (Canada/Cylance) +9:49


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