Batten dominates from start to finish and wins on the mud of Banyoles
Batten was crowned on the mud of Banyoles in a race that she dominated from start to finish. The American had to recover after suffering two crashes, although she kept the lead of the race at all times. Mitterwallner was second and Richards completed the podium after a final push.
Batten brings out her best version and takes the victory in the Shimano Super Cup Massi de Banyoles
The riders started the race on the mud that today covered the circuit of Banyoles. The Americans Batten and Blunk occupied the first positions at the beginning of the race and even managed to open a small gap with the rest of the group, which stretched little by little.
The first of the four laps started with American accents. Batten pressed and escaped alone to get a lead of 20 seconds. The other favorites took the front positions while they all risked just enough, forced to learn as they went along the course.
The mud was wreaking havoc on the leader, who saw a thick layer of mud blocking the front tyre. Discovery, which was making its debut as a test bench prior to the World Cup, showed several crashes that made it clear that the riders had to be very careful not to make mistakes.
The race continued with Rocio del Alba in fifteenth position with no change at the front. Batten, who was already more than half a minute ahead, crashed. The American soon recovered, continued in the lead and crossed the finish line to complete the first full lap.
The chasing group was formed by the Frei-Mitterwallner-Blunk-Gerault quartet, which was able to reduce the gap to 22 seconds at the finish. Just after Batten went to the ground again. The leader suffered, but resisted.
Blunk gave in soon after and broke away from the group. Meanwhile, Mitterwallner went off to chase down Batten. The gap dropped to 15 seconds at the halfway point of the second lap, while Frei was third, 22 seconds off the lead.
Batten held on to the lead and extended the gap back to 30 seconds. Despite the problems she had to deal with early on, the Specialized Factory Racing rider was gaining confidence as the minutes ticked by, looking more and more comfortable in the tricky conditions she had to compete in.
New pass through the finish line. Batten first and Mitterwallner 21 seconds behind. Behind, Frei, more than 30 seconds away, kept some seconds with the other riders who were threatening her place on the podium.
The Swiss rider's tranquility came to an end soon after. In the course of the third lap the Keller-Bohé-Gerault-Berta group caught her. Even so, the gap to Mitterwallner was slowly closing.
Ahead, Batten continued to be unbeatable and increased the gap to 50 seconds.
Last lap. Batten dominated and it seemed that, barring surprises, he had the victory tied. Mitterwallner was in no man's land, 49 seconds behind the leader. The interest was focused on the fight for third position: Richards joined the quintet and launched an attack.
The British, winner in Banyoles in the last three editions, pressed to break the group. Bohé and Keller held on, but the others gave up. Bad luck for Gerault, who had to say goodbye to her chances after breaking the chain.
The race came to an end with Batten in first place. Mitterwallner crossed second more than a minute behind, while Richards' final change of pace allowed her to break away from the group and take third.