National Championship races took place throughout the weekend all over the world, but it was in the Netherlands and Poland that CCC-Liv riders were able to make their impact on the podium aboard the Langma Advanced SL. Marianne Vos was a close second in the Dutch National Championship road race. In Poland, Agnieszka Skalniak took home silver and gold in the U23 time trial (fourth in elite) and road race (second in elite), respectively while teammate Marta Lach finished second in the U23 category and third in elite at the Polish National road race.
CCC-Liv went into the Dutch National Championship road race Saturday with a full team and a solid plan to make early breaks and put the competition to work. At the end of the race, it was Vos and Evy Kuijpers left in the lead group for CCC-Liv. With Vos excelling in tough conditions, she positioned herself for a reduced sprint finish. With slightly more power left in the tank, it was Lorena Wiebes who crossed the finish first.
“We can live with a second place with the knowledge that we have been beaten on our merits,” said CCC-Liv sports director Jeroen Blijlevens. “As a team, we have done everything we could and we have raced well. All credits to Wiebes who was just a tiny bit stronger.”
After her explosive performance in the Polish National Championship time trial Friday that left her just six seconds off the U23 win, Skalniak was motivated heading into Sunday’s Championship road race in Grunwald Ostróda. Both Skalniak and Lach rode aggressively in the 122km race to position themselves in a successful breakaway of twelve leading riders. After one last breakway attempt by Lach was reeled back in, the group of twelve approached the finish line together. When the sprint broke, Skalniak edged ahead with Lach on her heels. Crossing the finish line second and third also meant the two CCC-Liv teammates would go 1-2 in the U23 category.
“There were a lot of attacks, it was a very nervous race,” said Skalniak. “Marta and I tried to play the game together. I won the sprint by a narrow margin. I’m very proud of this achievement.”
With Nationals finished, CCC-Liv will make the trip to Italy this week for the start of the Giro Rosa, kicking off this Friday, July 5.