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Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (AG Insurance-Soudal-QuickStep) used her fast finish to win a three-up sprint to the line and take the victory at one-day Durango-Durango Emakumeen Saria.
The powerful climber was part of a two-rider breakaway that formed over the final ascent of the Alto de Goiuria along with Ane Santesteban (Team Jayco AlUla). In a massive effort, Claire Steels (Israel Premier Tech Roland) bridged across to the two breakaway leaders in the closing kilometre.
Moolman started her sprint first and crossed the line with day’s the victory, leaving Santesteban to settle for second and Steels in third on the day.
The peloton raced 113km along a hilly parcours that included four early circuits with an intermediate sprint at Alto de Miota, followed by three categorised ascents at Areitio (4.3km at 4.2%), Alto de Goiuria (5km at 4.8%) and Alto de Goiuria (4.8km at 5.6% before a descent into Durango.
The peloton was intact along the opening circuits, Mireia Benito (AG Insurance-Soudal-QuickStep) took full points at the first sprint at Alto de Miota, with Valentina Basilico (Bepink) taking the full points on the next lap, Benito on the third lap before a breakaway set off ahead of the hilly final stretch of racing.
The five-rider move included Emma Norsgaard (Movistar Team), Tamara Dronova-Balabolina (Israel Premier Tech Roland), Debora Silvestri (Laboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi), Gaia Masetti (AG Insurance- Soudal-QuickStep), and Alice Palazzi (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo).
The peloton caught the breakaway over the first ascent of Areitio, with the thinning peloton together over the first of two ascents of the Goiuria.
However, there was a split in the peloton, and a selection was made on the Goiuria with some fifteen riders emerging at the front of the race, including strong climbers Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (AG Insurance-Soudal-QuickStep), Urška Žigart and Ane Santesteban (Team Jayco AlUla) and Claire Steels (Israel Premier Tech Roland).
Moolman-Pasio and Santesteban surged out of the group of favourites on the last ascent of the Goiuria, opening up a small lead with 10km to go.
Steels closed the gap to the two leaders inside the final kilometre, with Moolman-Pasio winning the three-up sprint to the line in Durango
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