2 months ago by Oskar Scarsbrook

Barbara Malcotti podiums dramatic French finale

Italian recovers from final kilometer crash for third place in Kreiz Breizh Elites Féminin

Photos: GettySport

Barbara Malcotti wore her racing passion on her sleeve during a dramatic ending at Kreiz Breizh Elites Féminin to finish third in the French one-day. 

The Italian had dominated the race, forcing the pace throughout and triggering the race-making breakaway on the hilly finishing circuit before unfortunately falling behind a breakaway partner in the finale. 

“I thought today I could have raced for the victory,” the 23-year-old said afterward. “I am happy I scored some points, but I really believed in my first professional victory.”

Having just completed the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, Malcotti put her Grand Tour legs to the test and was by far the most active rider in the race – something she was rewarded for when presented with the most combative trophy. 

She joined teammates Daria Pikulik and Nina Buijsman in a whittled down peloton as they entered the 7km finishing circuit in Pabu. 

With 24km to race, Malcotti attacked to force four riders clear. She was joined by eventual winner Giorgio Vetorello (BePink – GOLD), Quinty Schoens (Parkhotel Valkenburg) and Debora Silvestri (Laboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi).

I didn’t think about anything, I just went

“Just a lap before, I went in another breakaway and told my teammates that I was completely done,” she adds. “Then I found an opportunity and I just tried my hardest. I didn’t think about anything, I just went.”

Malcotti did the majority of the work, building the gap to almost two minutes before taking fourth wheel going into the 1.4km drag up to the finish line. The wheel she chose was Silvestri’s, and in wet conditions, the Spaniard slipped off the road right in front of Malcotti, resulting in the Italian riding onto the verge and into the long grass for a soft landing.

Malcotti was straight back into racing having finished the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift.

“I was just unfortunate I guess,” she said. “Silvestri was the only rider that could fight with me and she did the corner too fast. Everyone knows that corner was super slippery because every single lap some rider crashed – but these things happen in races.” 

Malcotti’s resilience prevailed though, and having jumped back on two wheels, she chased to the line, finishing just 17 seconds behind the winner and still over half a minute ahead of the peloton. 

After a break for the World Championships in Scotland, the women’s team will next take on a trio of European one-day races with La Périgord Ladies on August 12, La Picto – Charentaise on August 13 and Grote Prijs Yvonne Reynders on August 15.

Kreiz Breizh Elites Féminin
1 VETTORELLO Giorgia – BePink – GOLD 3:44:57
2 SCHOENS Quinty – Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:06
3 MALCOTTI Barbara – Human Powered Health 0:17
4 SILVESTRI Debora – Laboral Kutxa Fundación Euskadi 0:31
5 GERRITSE Femke – Parkhotel Valkenburg 0:51