Cervelo Bigla’s Moolman-Pasio made some decisive attacks in the closing stages of the 135.5 km race which set her up for a potential podium finish.
“There was a climb with about 20km left, probably the hardest climb in the race, where we as a team decided to be aggressive.
“I attacked pretty much from the bottom of the climb and I managed to cause a split, but unfortunately two Boels riders, Anna [van der Breggen] and Megan [Guarnier], followed. That was not the ideal scenario.
“Then a small peloton caught up where Amanda [Spratt], the eventual second place, took an opportunity to attack after she was dropped. She then got away. Hats off to her, it was a smart move.”
On the penultimate Côte de Saint-Nicolas climb, Moolman-Pasio decided to attack again.
“I decided to be aggressive again and have one more shot,” she said. “I attacked at the bottom but I may have been a bit too eager because over the top Annemiek [van Vleuten] attacked me.”
In the last kilometre, Moolman-Pasio knew Van der Breggen and Spratt were “too out of reach” for her to finish in the top two, so she and Van Vleuten battled it out for the final podium spot.
“A second place was no longer possible so I was going for third,” she said. “Then I saw a group chasing from behind so I thought it was about limiting my losses.
“I took a gamble by going for the sprint knowing Annemiek [van Vleuten] was on my wheel and she would most likely outsprint me.
“It was either that or sitting up thinking she will not work much because her teammate [Van der Breggen] was up front. However, then the group would catch up and I may have ended up coming 11th.
“I took that gamble to rather come fourth. I kept the pace and tried to sprint but my legs were completely done and Annemiek managed to take third.”