How the race finished
Blanka Vas (SD Worx) emerged victorious in the uphill sprint finish on stage eight of the Giro Donne. Chloé Dygert (Canyon//Sram Racing) and Liane Lippert (Movistar) completed the podium.
Full results are available below.
How it happened
After travelling from mainland Italy to the island of Sardinia during yesterday’s rest day, the riders started the penultimate stage from the city of Nuoro, in the centre of the island. The 125.7km tough rolling course took them north to Sassari, sweltering in temperatures of up to 38 degrees. A category 3 climb featured mid-way through the race, but all eyes were on the punchy uphill finish in Sassari.
Top Girls Fassa Bortolo animated the early part of the race, with first Giorgia Bariani and then Alessia Vigilia making moves to get up the road. Petra Stiasny (Fenix-Deceuninck) briefly joined Vigilia, but the peloton closed them down. Giorgia Vettorello (BePink-Gold) also found a small gap, but was quickly reabsorbed into the bunch.
At the sprint point through Macomer, 50km into the race, Erica Magnaldi (UAE Team AQD) was first over the line. She claimed precious bonus seconds which bumped her up one position into fourth on the General Classification, ahead of Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB).
Movistar, Jayco and UAE-Team-ADQ were present on the front, but as the road continued to roll upward, attacks began to fly. Despite van Vleuten being positioned towards the back, Floortje Mackaij attacked off the front, but was quickly brought back. Next to go for Movistar was Sara Martin, who led away a dangerous trio of Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx), Juliette Labous (Team dsm firmenich) and Mavi Garcia (Liv Racing TeqFind). With that closed down as well, Paula Patino tried next, this time with Blanka Vas (SD Worx) in the wheel. Chloé Dygert (Canyon//Sram Racing) dragged things back together.
Lizzie Diegnan (Lidl-Trek) took to the front to shepherd Gaia Realini down the descent. On another small rise Silvia Magri (Israel Premier Tech) attacked, and Mackaij jumped across to her. After a bit of negotiation the pair began working together, quickly establishing a 40 second gap. On the category 3 climb up to Romana-Ittiri, Mackaij went solo, holding a lead of over 1 minute over the chasing peloton with 38km remaining.
The peloton set a hard pace up the climb, with riders being tailed off. An attack by Inge van der Heijden (Fenix Deceuninck) strung the group out. Another attack saw five riders clip of the front, including GC threats Fisher Black and Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB). The group closed the gap on Mackaij, but Realini (Lidl-Trek) used her power up the climb to close the move down.
Soraya Paladin (Canyon//Sram Racing) tried next, pulling a small group clear, but this time it was closed by Deignan (Lidl-Trek). Anouska Koster (Uno-X Pro Cycling) went again, pulling a group clear that quickly swelled and was again brought back. The reduced peloton came together into the rolling descent.
The long run in to the finish was wide and not particularly technical, with not much wind either. At 5km to go the teams lined out, with Fenix-Deceuninck and Jayco-AlUla taking it up on the front. Marianne Vos, whose team Jumbo-Visma had been quiet all day, positioned herself on Chloé Dygert’s wheel. Inside 2km to go, two Fenix-Deceuninck riders clipped off the front, but Schrempf didn’t quite have the legs to stay away as the road pitched up.
Elinor Barker (Uno-X Pro Cycling) brought it back, before Paladin led out. Vos opened things up, but didn’t have the legs to take it to the line. In a close finish, Blanka Vas took the win ahead of Dygert, Lippert (Movistar), Persico (UAE Team ADQ), and Wollaston (AG Insurance Soudal Quickstep).
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