2024 Giro d’Italia Women Stage Three – Race Report

How the race finished

Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx Protime) was victorious in the mountaintop finish in Toano, coming home solo ahead of a small group led by Lotte Kopecky and Juliette Labous (dsm firmenich Post NL). Full results are available below.

How it happened

Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia Women saw the riders face their first major climbing test, with a mountaintop finish in Toano, a small town west of Bologna in the Apennines. With the climb being relatively gentle, punchy riders like Lotte Kopecky would still fancy their chances of making it to the end. 

The opening kilometres were ridden at a strong pace, making the formation of a breakaway difficult. At one point the bunch split, seeing about 30 riders including most of the major favourites in the front group, before things came back together again. Asenico (Ceratizit WNT) and Bariani (Top Girls Fasso Bortolo) managed to slip away at 85km to go, slowly. but surely pushing out a small advantage on the peloton, before they too were reeled back in. 

By 65 km to go there was still no breakaway, yet the pace remained high. With only just over 10 km to the intermediate sprint, some of the sprint teams were thinking about keeping the bunch together to maximise points. Jade Wiel (FDJ Suez) had other ideas, attacking and quickly establishing a gap despite the hot conditions out front. 

UAE Team ADQ took on the responsibility for the chase, looking to line up the intermediate sprint. Wiel still picked up the maximum points, but as the bunch caught her Sarah Roy (Cofidis) went on the attack. At 40 km to go Roy held a narrow lead of 22 seconds, enticing Elena Pirrone (Roland) to jump out of the peloton and try to join her. When the pace came out of the peloton her lead ballooned out, and a few kilometres laters Pirrone finally made it across to Roy. The pair pushed their lead out to over 1 minute thirty before Lidl Trek began setting the pace in the peloton.

With temperatures of over thirty degrees, Roy was seen hosing down the back of her breakaway partner with a bottle of cold water, trying to keep them both as strong as possible. FDJ Suez also began helping in the peloton behind, keeping Grace Brown in good position. As the leading duo began the long uphill draw into the base of the climb, their lead began to drop. With 16 km to go Roy left her breakaway companion behind and went solo, showing impressive strength.

The peloton caught Roy at 12 km to go just after they hit the bottom of the climb proper. Fem van Empel (Visma | Lease a Bike) immediately attacked, then thought the better of it, slotting back into the bunch. Canyon//Sram Racing set the tempo with Paladin and then Chabbey, whose high pace saw van Empel, Loes Adegeest (FDJ Suez) and Ane Santesteban (Laboral Kutxa-Fundación Euskadi) dropped.

With 9km of climbing still to go, the remaining thirty riders were strung out. Grace Brown (FDJ Suez), Ruth Edwards (Human Powered Health) and Brodie Chapman (Lidl Trek) were dropped, and Chabbey continued to pile on the hurt. 

When Chabbey pulled off Mavi Garcia (Liv AlUla Jayco) came to the front, and riders continued to struggle at the back. Eventually Garcia’s tempo left only 12 riders at the front, including eighteen year old Lore de Schepper (AG Insurance Soudal). 

At 2.2km to go Garcia shifted gears and attacked, reducing the group further. Niamh Fisher Black (SD Worx Protime) bridged across, forcing Gaia Realini (Lidl Trek) to work behind for her teammate, Elisa Longo Borghini. Under the Flamme Rouge Garcia and Fisher-Black had an eleven second margin over the chasers. Fisher-Black attacked again, and this time Garcia couldn’t follow, eventually being overtaken by the chasers.

Fisher-Black crossed the line solo, six seconds ahead her teammate Lotte Kopecky who led in the group with Juliette Labous and Elisa Longo Borghini, who did enough to defend her race lead.

 

 

Results powered by FirstCycling.com

 

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