Silvia Persico (Valcar-Travel & Service) is following in the footsteps of her fellow Italians who are dominating the road racing scene this spring.
The 24-year-old has enjoyed a string of success with a recent win at the Gran Premio della Liberazione on April 25. This success was quickly followed by a third place in the prologue and a second place, behind her compatriot Marta Bastianelli, on Stage 1 of the Festival. Elsy Jacobs.
Persico is currently leading the general classification with the same time as runner-up Demi Vollering (SD Worx) and seven seconds ahead of Bastianelli.
“Today I felt good, I tried to win but Marta was stronger than me in the sprint,” said Persico, who was initially unsure if his efforts were enough to take the lead. general.
“I don’t know if I took the general classification jersey but I’m happy with my team because today they worked for me all day.”
Persico is the Italian national cyclo-cross champion and was the revelation of the UCI Cyclo-cross World Championships in January in Fayetteville as part of the winning team that took victory in the Trials Team Relay. opening. She then won bronze in the elite women’s event behind Dutch riders, world champion Marianne Vos and silver medalist Lucinda Brand.
A rider under contract with the Valcar-Travel & Service team since 2017, Persico took her off-road to the Spring Classics where she finished 10th at Strade Bianche, 12th at Ronde van Drenthe, 8th at Trofeo Alfredo Binda, 9th at Gent -Wevelgem, 11th in the Tour of Flanders and 7th in Brabantse Pijl.
It was a remarkable season for Italian riders as world champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) won a stage at Vuelta CV Feminas, Trofeo Alfredo Binda, Bruges-De Panne and Gent-Wevelgem. Her teammate and Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini won Paris-Roubaix.
Marta Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) won the Amstel Gold Race and the Flèche Wallonne, while Marta Bastianelli (UAE Team AQD) won a stage at the Vuelta CV Feminas, Omloop van het Hageland and stage 1 at the Festival Elsy Jacobs. Persico’s Valcar-Travel & Service teammate Chaira Consonni also won Dwars door Vlaanderen.
After finishing third in the prologue at the Elsy Jacobs Festival, Persico admitted that while the 2.2km course suited her assets, she was not convinced she would finish in such a high position.
“I knew that the prologue course suited me, because there were so many turns. However, I did not expect to finish in third place: the day before, the sensations were not superlative”, said Persico.
“We came here to make the most of it. Stages and general classification, we make no difference. As for me, I will try to rank, but I would like to savor the taste of success as it happened in Rome [Gran Premio della Liberazione].
“Maybe the last stage 2 in Garnich is the one that suits me best: already last year I finished in fourth place.”
The race ends at the 109.3 km stage 2 race in Garnich. A fourth-place finish last year could indeed turn into a win for Persico in Sunday’s final, in his bid to win the overall title at the Elsy Jacobs Festival as well.