Monday, May 16, 2022
Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider Kristen Faulkner rode consistently well over the inaugural Itzulia Women stage race to finish third overall – her first WorldTour podium of the season.
Faulkner kicked off the three-day Itzulia by riding an aggressive race. After early breakaway attempts were caught, she launched an attack with 18km to go and was joined by Demi Vollering and Pauliena Rooijakkers. The trio extended a gap that the peloton could not recover. Faulkner was unable to contest for the sprint, finishing third, just two seconds back of the win and 39 seconds ahead fourth place aboard the Langma Advanced SL Disc.
The Team BikeExchange-Jayco rider was able to hold onto her general classification podium position, riding consistently at the front of the pack on stages two and three, finishing 10th and 11th.
“I just had to focus on not giving up and keep going every single second even if there were people on my wheel,” said Faulkner. “I was trying to close the gap to Demi, the leader, as much as I could to make sure I was able stay third on GC and ahead of Marta Cavalli who was fourth place just behind me. The biggest lesson for the day was just to keep going. Sometimes you don’t think you can keep going but you never know what is going to happen.”