Ashleigh Moolman Pasio of Team SD Worx has taken Stage 9 of the Giro Donne, ahead of teammates Demi Vollering and Anna van der Breggen. The hardest stage of this year’s race featured the second-category Stregna climb and the final climb to Monte Matajur, a first category ascent. Giorgia Vettorello of Top Girls Fassa Bortolo, Letizia Borghesi of Aromitalia Basso Bikes Vaiano, and Asia Zontone of Servetto-Makhymo-Beltrami TSA made up the leading trio of the day. Despite Borghesi managing to go clear, she was reeled back in just ahead of the summit of the Stregna ascent. This then laid the groundwork for an attack by Moolman Pasio and Italian champion Elisa Longo Borghini, of Trek-Segafredo, who then led the race ahead of a reduced field of under 40 riders. A series of attempts to catch up with the leading duo were ultimately unsuccessful, and they managed to stretch out their lead to a maximum of over two minutes by the foot of the toughest climb of the day.
Just after the 10km to go mark, sensing the field gradually closing in, Moolman Pasio surged ahead of the Italian champion and went on to take what is a standout victory in her career to date. Behind, Longo Borghini was overtaken by the chasers, including pink jersey Anna van der Breggen, who retains her overall lead heading into tomorrow’s final stage.
Ashleigh Moolman Pasio: “Wow, it really feels so amazing. This is my tenth Giro and I’ve never won a stage — I’ve only ever finished second. And so, second on GC is special, so is to win a stage.”