2023 Giro Donne Stage Two – Race Report

How the race finished

Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) took her 100th UCI win in the second stage of the Giro Donne, taking a commanding lead in the General Classification. Cecile Uttrup Ludwig and Juliette Labous were fastest from the small chasing group. 

Full results are available below.

How it happened

After the opening prologue was cancelled, today was an open opportunity for riders to establish an initial position on the General Classification. However, with no time gaps going into the race, the chances of any breakaway being allowed all the way to the line were slim.

Nonetheless, Susanne Andersen (Uno-X Pro Cycling Team) and Irene Mendez Melgarejo (Bizkaia-Durango)  formed an early break, building up a lead of over three minutes. The peloton were happy to hold the break at this distance, before slowly reeling them in on the approach to the day’s only climb. 

Coming into the base of the climb, the peloton picked up the pace, cutting the lead of the break to 1.30min. At the same time, a little ominously after yesterday’s thunderstorms, drizzle started to fall steadily. 

The break was caught by the peloton halfway up Passo della Colla. As the attacks started to come out of the peloton, lack of coverage impacted the race narrative. A few minutes later, everything was revealed as Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) came over the top solo, in a characteristic move. Around 30 seconds behind her Marta Cavalli (FDJ Suez) and Gaia Realini (Lidl-Trek) desperately chased down the descent. 

A larger group who had been a little further back on the climb caught up with Cavalli and Realini on the descent. The group offered reinforcement with teammates for both riders: Longo-Borghini for Realini and both Evita Muzic and Cecile Uttrup Ludwig for Cavalli. Also in the group were Veronica Ewers (EF Education Tibco SVB) , Ane Santesteban (Jayco AlUla), Juliette Labous (DSM Firmenich), Erica Magnaldi (UAE Team ADQ), and Mavi Garcia (Liv Racing TeqFind). 

Despite both FDJ Suez and Lidl-Trek having numbers in the chase, the gap to van Vleuten continued to extend on the flat run into the line. Van Vleuten raised her arms aloft to mark her 100th UCI win. Some 40 seconds behind, Veronica Ewers led things out, but Uttrup Ludwig and Labous came around to take the podium spots. 

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

Photography: Luca Bettini, Unipublic/SprintCyclingAgency

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