Veronica Ewers solos to victory in Europe

‘My teammates were in my ear, just telling me to keep going’

May 1, 2022

Veronica Ewers won the final stage of the Ceratizit Festival Elsy Jacobs by launching a solo attack in the closing kilometers. With this stage victory, the 27-year-old has claimed not only her first pro win but also EF Education-TIBCO-SVB’s first European win of the season.

“I’m in shock right now to be honest,” says Ewers. “It’s my first win as a WorldTour cyclist and I really didn’t expect this to be the outcome today.”

When Ewers found herself in a select group in the final kilometers of the stage, she knew this was her opportunity. “This is the last chance,” she told herself as she accelerated from the bunch. “I’m just going to give it everything I have. I turned around and I had a bit of a gap and I just said, ‘This is it, I have to give it everything right now.’”

That gap quickly extended and Ewers kept driving towards the finish. “I turned around again and I had a bigger gap and I just kept going. I turned around again and I couldn’t see them and I just said, ‘I have to go to the finish as hard as possible,’” Ewers says.

With seven riders chasing Ewers, she crossed under the flamme rouge, encouraged to push on despite the agony in her legs by her team. “I considered quitting multiple times,” she says. “But my DS was in my ear and my teammates were in my ear, just telling me to keep going and just give everything. It was really motivating.”

After yesterday’s stage in which Ewers finished 13 seconds behind the winner, the team spent time debriefing on what they wanted to improve for today. “Our riders had a good talk after yesterday’s stage about how they could do things better,” says sports director Daniel Foder. “How they could be five percent more committed to everything and how to put in a little more fight. How to be more aggressive.” Ultimately the riders agreed they were stronger than yesterday’s result and decided to challenge their limits. “When we attack, there’s no holding back. It’s a one-way ticket,” Foder says.

Her win launched Ewers from 17th place to 2nd place on the overall standings.

EF Education-TIBCO-SVB celebrated Krista Doebel-Hickok’s two stage wins earlier in the week at the Tour of the Gila and thanks to the team’s efforts in Luxembourg, Ewers’ win is the team’s first win on European soil of the season.

For Linda Jackson, founder and owner of EF Education-TIBCO-SVB, Ewers’ victory today shows how the team has overcome early season obstacles. “I’m just thrilled with Veronica’s win today,” Jackson says. “It’s been a really tough start for the team this year and for Veronica in particular. She came into the season with incredible form and then was hit with Covid. After recovering from Covid, she fractured her elbow. Despite these setbacks, Veronica stayed focused and positive. Her attitude, along with strong support from teammates Lauren, Kathrin, Tanja, Clara, and Magdeleine led to her result today. She’s an incredible athlete with amazing perseverance. The team is also having great results with a small squad at the Tour of the Gila. Krista Doebel-Hickok has won two stages and is sitting in second overall. We finally have some momentum. We’re ready to put illness and injuries behind us and are looking forward to an exciting summer!”

Foder sees this week as opening the gate for the team’s future. “This win is nice for Veronica. It’s nice for the whole team, but also for the belief within the team. Before we had an idea of what might be possible, but now we know we can be up there to take the win. Now we see that we can accomplish what we want to do.”

Share this story

More from Ceratizit Festival Elsy Jacobs

Finding our stride