Rossella Ratto wins UCI Winston-Salem Cycling Classic, Scandolara takes silver

“I was looking forward the moment where I could finally thank the team in the best way. When I was solo, I was thinking ‘I can do it… that must be for Cylance!’”

 –Rossella Ratto, 22, Cylance Pro Cycling

Ratto gave Cylance Pro Cycling its first UCI victory of the season thanks to a well-timed and tenacious attack. The 22-year-old blasted away from a reduced peloton on the final lap, and soloed to the victory with plenty of room to celebrate ahead of a small group sprinting behind her. Cylance Pro Cycling teammate Valentina Scandolara won the dash for second place over Coryn Rivera (UnitedHealthcare).

Photo Credit: Jonathan Devich - epicimages.us

The field was whittled down by the halfway point to a front group of under 30 riders, with only two dozen making the front group as they rolled through the line with one lap to go. Ratto was well positioned near the front, and made her move with

"We planned to do a hard race, and I had my teammates working for me, setting a good pace on every climb," Ratto said. "We took two laps to go very fast, and I saw the peloton was splitting. And then I saw they were sitting up - and I thought it was the right time because they were tired and I still have some energy. I believed in what I was doing, and I wanted to thank my team as much as possible, so I continued hard in the last kilometer."

"The course was hard, but it depends on the way you approach it. Today we kept a really high speed all race long, and with the heat it was even harder. But there a lot of places where the peloton can get back together. It's a matter of continuing to survive, and keeping going, and picking the right moment to go like I did."

Teammate Valentina Scandolara, who won the bunch sprint for second place, agrees that the hard race and smart tactics benefited Cylance Pro Cycling in the final laps. “Rossella and I played the last cards in the last laps…we forced the rhythm and went in breakaways until she got away solo, and I won the reduced bunch sprint after controlling the chase.” 

The win was also a mark of victory for the team’s recent struggle with crashes, illness and injury. “I feel that the Cylance crew is finally starting to get back what we deserve [in race results],” says Scandolara, who spent too many weeks under the weather.  “After so many months being sick, I start seeing some signals of form again. That gives me hope and motivation to keep working hard!”