Elisa Balsamo Takes a Home Victory at Stage 2 of the Giro Donne


supersapiens banner february 2022

How the Race Finished 

The second stage of the Giro Donne came down to the expected sprint. The 30-time Giro Donne stage-winner Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) launched her sprint early, but it was the world & Italian champion Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) who, after an immaculate leadout from Elisa Longo Borghini, got into Vos’ slipstream, surged around her, and took it by a bike-throw on the line. Charlotte Kool (Team DSM), an integral part of the all-dominating Lorena Wiebes’s leadout, took third place, taking her chance to sprint for herself in the absence of Wiebes. 

The Main Action 

For the first road stage of the Giro Donne, the race stayed in Sardinia, with a gently rolling stage of 106.5km running along the coast of the island, from Villasimius to Tortoli. It was a stage that the sprinters would have been eyeing up. 

It was a fight to get into the first breakaway. A duo ended up out front: the 20 year-old Neve Bradbury (Canyon-SRAM) and Franziska Brausse (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling), but they were swallowed up again relatively quickly. A second breakaway was more successful, with the Italian continental teams heavily represented: it was composed of Matilde Vitilo (BePink), Christina Tonetti (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), Inga Cesuliene (Aromitalia – Basso Bikes – Vaiano), Beatrice Rossato (Isolmant – Premac – Vittoria), Marta Jaskulska (Liv Racing Xstra) and Francesca Pisciali (Team Mendelspeck). 

With under 40km to go, the breakaway still had a solid three minutes. Trek-Segafredo lined out on the front, leading the chase. The intermediate sprint points were taken by the breakaway. Francesa Pisciali started first, sprinting for a sign that turned out to be the 1km to go sign. Jaskulska pursued her, then lead the group, looking behind her with an air of calculation: she was one second down in the young rider’s classification. Piscialia went again, 500m out; again, it was Jaskulska who chased her down, and it was Jaskulska who, as all six of them sprinted to the line, took the points. 

With 30km to go, the gap was down to 2 minutes, and was starting to tumble. Valcar Travel & Service, Team DSM, and Jumbo Visma were now all contributing to the work, wanting to secure a chance for their sprinters. With 20km to go, the breakaway had a mere thirty seconds; with 10km, they were caught. 

Jumbo-Visma, working for Vos, started their lead-out with 3.5km to go: it was Kraak, Koster and Markus, whose speed disrupted the lead-outs behind. Valcar Travel & Service took up position on the front with one of their riders clipping off the front in the final 800m; it was Kata Blanka Vas, in the white jersey for best young rider, who chased them down for SD Worx. The speed had winnowed down the very front to just the key sprinters. Vos went first, going for a long sprint, but Longo Borghini brought up Balsamo and dropped her off just behind Vos. Vos couldn’t quite hold off Balsamo, and was beaten by just a few centimetres.  


After her third place in yesterday’s time-trial, Elisa Balsamo moves into pink, with Kristen Faulkner in second, Georgia Baker in third, and Marianne Vos moving up into fifth place on the GC. Balsamo also continues to lead the points classification. Franziska Brausse, after an early breakaway escapade, leads the Queen of the Mountains classification. 


More news

Share this post