Race report

Megan Jastrab sprints to good 2nd place at MerXem Classic

MerXem Classic

Faced with ten laps of the 12 kilometre long and mostly flat local circuit around Merksem, it was set to be a fast day out in the saddle for the peloton. The team were active and attentive from the start but unfortunately lost Esmée Peperkamp in an early crash. The rest of the squad regrouped well and covered any dangerous moves with Francesca Barale to the fore through some of the intermediate sprints.

Heading into the last 40 kilometres a quartet which soon became a trio went clear that featured Elise Uijen. With Uijen out front, it meant the rest of the team could conserve energy ahead of the finale as the speed ramped up. Uijen’s group worked well together but only ever held onto roughly 30 seconds and heading into the last two laps they were reeled in. Despite a few more attempts to break free, it was clear the peloton wanted to set up a bunch sprint finale. Working well as a unit, the team moved up en masse to bring finisher Megan Jastrab into position. Pfeiffer Georgi led Jastrab through the final corner at the head of the peloton, before Jastrab launched a strong sprint effort. Unfortunately, she was just pipped to the win before the finish line but claimed another impressive second place; highlighting her and the team’s good recent form.

“The team was always represented in the moves today and followed each other up well,” explained Jastrab after the finish. “We thought it was going to be a harder and more aggressive race, but in the end there was only one real breakaway of the day which Elise was in. With a couple of laps to go, the team committed to a sprint for me. We took control quite early, as teams were looking at us. The girls kept me safe and did an amazing lead out. It was a headwind sprint and I wish I could have waited a couple meters longer before starting, but I felt people coming on my hip. It was close at the finish, but the best I could do was second. It was amazing to be sprinting for the win again and have all of the girls going all-in for me. I’ve learned a lot the last couple of races being the team’s finisher, and I’m looking to bring this knowledge forward in the coming races and hopefully improve on the two second places.”

Team DSM coach Pim Ligthart added: “Unfortunately, we lost Esmée early in the race in a crash which was a shame. We saw a really committed team effort today from everyone though. Elise made it into a breakaway which meant that we didn’t have to ride on the front in the peloton. In the end she got caught and the peloton set up a front sprint. We maybe hit the front a little too early but Pfeiffer and Megan went around the last corner in first and second position. Megan was just passed by Gasparrini at the line but we can be happy and pleased with the effort everyone showed today.”


Pos. Rider Team Time Points
1 GASPARRINI Eleonora Camilla Valcar - Travel & Service 2:47:47 125
2 JASTRAB Megan Team DSM ,, 85
3 PERSICO Silvia Valcar - Travel & Service ,, 70