Trofeo Binda is truly an iconic part of the UCI Women’s World Tour and as a standalone women’s race, it is a historic and important part of the calendar. This was Drops’ first time taking part and with many of the world’s best over the years having won here, it was a special race to be a part of.
All the top women’s teams were present and Drops took a squad of six to compete with them. The team included climbing specialists Martina Ritter and Anna Christian. The two were backed by Classics riders Alice Barnes, Anne-Sophie Duyck, Suzy Zorzi and all-rounder Lizzie Holden.
Trofeo Binda’s hilly climbs through the Italian countryside are set against the stunning foothills of Lake Maggiore but once the race began, there was little time to admire the view in what turned out be gruelling, competitive race.
Early on in the race, Holden and Barnes were unfortunately delayed by a crash in the peleton. This set back meant Lizzie spent much of her energy paced Barnes back to group.
At the other end, Anna Christian was riding well and was narrowly pipped for the queens of the mountains prize – showing her prowess on the long climbs.
The final selection was made by a gradual and constant thinning of the peleton from the rear. With the monumental task of getting back in contention after the earlier incident and the efforts of the previous week, the race really started to take its toll on Alice Barnes who sensibly climbed off to save herself for the upcoming northern classics – her speciality.
This left with 4 in the front group. The standout Drops performer was climber, Martina Ritter who, in her natural habitat, remained at the pointy end of the bike race until the very end. She got over the line in a respectable 25th place to cap off challenging day for the team.