2023 Giro Donne Stage One – Race Report

How the race finished

With thunderstorms and heavy rainfall the first stage of the Giro Donne was cancelled – but not until around half the peloton had already battled it out on the sodden 4.4km course. The race will start again tomorrow, with no time gaps or leaders jerseys awarded.

How it happened

Stage One of Giro Donne got underway in Chianciano, near the border of Tuscany and Umbria. The short, flat prologue promised to be a fast and furious race, giving an early indication as to the form of some of the key riders for the upcoming race.

Many of the teams chose to start their favourite riders early, in an attempt to avoid the forecast rain. The stormy weather, however, arrived early, ahead of the first starters. The roads were clearly very slippery, as indicated by the number of riders reported to be sliding out. Those who hit the decks included Mavi Garcia (Liv TeqFind), Petra Stiasny (Fenix-Deceuninck), Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo-Visma) and Chloé Dygert (Canyon//Sram Racing). 

The early leader was Ally Wollaston (AG Insurance Soudal Quickstep), but she was just edged out by Dygert, despite her crash. Shortly afterwards, defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) went 1 second faster. Around 1pm, after the early favourites finished, the rain eased for a short period. 

Georgia Baker (Jayco AlUla) looked to be returning to form going 1 second slower than current leader van Vleuten, then Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) finished around the same time as van Vleuten. Megan Jastrab (Team DSM-Firmenich) continued on from her strong rides in the spring classics, coming in at the same time as Dygert. 

From there – the racing became stop start as the weather deteriorated. Thunderstorms started again, with the race paused at 1:10pm. Racing started again at 1:30pm, and for a short window the conditions remained okay. Another thunderstorm came through just before 2pm. 

In the next wave of riders, Letizia Paternoster (Jayco-AlUla) surprised the favourites, putting her track prowess to good use to come home in the fastest time yet – fractions of a second faster than van Vleuten. Cecile Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Suez) posted a good time to match Dygert, making it seven riders within 1 second of the lead. Gaia Realini (Lidl-Trek) surprised by losing only 11 seconds to the traditionally much stronger TT riders. The impressive effort would have put her ahead of some other GC contenders like Marta Cavalli (FDJ Suez) and Mavi Garcia, had the stage been completed.

The race was paused again at 2:20pm, with torrential rain and hail, and eventually cancelled completely.

No jerseys were awarded, and no timings given. Riders will start tomorrow, the first road race stage, on a blank slate.

Photography: Rafa Gomez / SprintCyclingAgency 

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