How the race finished
Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) took a solo stage win wearing the pink jersey, while Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) and Liane Lippert (Movistar) were best of the bunch on the steep uphill finish in Canelli.
Van Vleuten extended her lead in the General Classification. After an unfortunate crash meant yesterday’s winner, Antonia Niedermaier (Canyon//Sram Racing) could not complete the stage, Victoria Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) moved up to second overall, over three minutes in arrears of van Vleuten. Juliette Labous (Team dsm-firmenich) climbed into third position overall.
Full results are available below.
How it happened
Stage 6 of the Giro Donne was an open course starting and finishing in Canelli. Featuring two category three climbs, the steep uphill finish offered an opportunity for punchy finishers and GC riders alike.
The peloton stayed together for the first 30km, with no break of any consequence forming. Among those active in trying to establish a breakaway group were Lea Fuchs (Born to Win-Zhiraf-G20), Susanne Andersen and Elinor Barker, (Uno-X Pro Cycling) and Karlijn Swinkels (Jumbo Visma). With no break formed, the pace remained high. Some riders found themselves distanced off the back in the hilly terrain between kilometres 20 and 30.
Around 45km in to the stage a small but strong break of Anouska Koster (Uno-X Pro Cycling), Audrey Cordon-Ragot (Human Powered Health) and Letizia Paternoster (Jayco-AlUla), finally formed, but shortly afterwards was again brought back by the peloton. We then saw further attempts to use the rolling terrain to go clear. Swinkels was on the move again, and then Petra Stiasny (Fenix-Deceuninck) and Elinor Barker (Uno-X Pro Cycling), who were finally able to find a gap. Swinkels tried to counter, this time with Gaia Masetti (AG Insurance Soudal Quickstep), but the pair couldn’t bridge to the duo up front.
On the largest climb of the day, up to Castino, Stiasny and Barker maintained a small lead. Their gap was reduced to less than 30 seconds at the top. On the climb, an innocuous crash at the back of the bunch between three riders spelled the end of Niedermaier’s dream of finishing the Giro Donne on the overall podium.
On the climb up to Calosso, with around 15km left to race, van Vleuten launched her signature attack near the base of the climb. Niamh Fisher-Black was initially able to stay with her, but soon had to settle into her own pace. As van Vleuten rode away, a small chase group formed behind, marked by Liane Lippert. On the flat run into the finish the chasing group swelled again, with a number of sprinters able to return, including Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) and Ally Wollaston (AG Insurance Soudal Quickstep).
Van Vleuten held her margin all the way to the line, raising her arms in victory with the pink jersey on her shoulders. Behind her, the group battled it out up the steep finishing slopes. Showing her capabilities beyond pure sprinter, Lorena Wiebes was second across the line, with van Vleuten’s teammate Liane Lippert in third.
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