Marianne Vos Takes Her Thirty-First Stage Win at the Giro Donne

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How the Race Finished 

It was a 31st stage victory at the Giro Donne for Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma), taking her revenge on Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo), after losing out by mere inches in yesterday’s stage. Vos surfed the wheels expertly in the final kilometres, with Jumbo-Visma not opting to take the front as a team as they did yesterday, before she launched early, forcing Balsamo to follow, even though she was still behind her leadout, Elisa Longo Borghini. Charlotte Kool (Team DSM) squeezed her way into the gap between the two of them 

 The Main Action 

The third stage of the Giro Donne was another relatively flat day, designed for sprinters, running along the Sardinian coast from Cala Gonone to Olbia. Temperatures were high, with riders starting off the day with ice in their jerseys. 

The first break was a solo one, with Lara Vieceli (Ceratizit – WNT Pro Cycling); she managed a gap of over thirty seconds, but was caught only 35km into the stage. The second break was dominated again by the Italian continental teams. A leading group was composed of Marketa Hajkova (Bepink), Asia Zontone (Isolmant – Premac – Vittoria) and Alice Palazzi (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), who had two minutes on the peloton. Behind them, a chasing group of eight formed: Lucia Gonzalez (Bizkaia Durango), Giulia Marchesini and Gemma Sernissi (both Armoitalia – Basso Bikes – Vaiano), Giorgia Vettorello (Bepink), Jennifer Ducuara (Colombia Tierra de Atletas – GW – Shimano), Katia Ragusa (Liv Racing Xstra), Alessia Missiaggia (Team Mendelspeck), and Alessia Vigilia (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), hovering about thirty seconds behind the leaders. 

Trek-Segafredo were repeating yesterday’s tactic of lining out on the front of the peloton, controlling the pace and the gap to the peloton, seeking another stage win for the Maglia Rosa, Elisa Balsamo. With 30km to go, and the gap between the leaders and the chasers not going down, some in the chasing group lost patience. Vigilia attacked, and was followed by Ragusa; together, they bridged across to the leaders. It was clear, however, that the flat roads offered them no chance of escape, and the sprinters’ teams were rapidly diminishing the gap. 

The chasers were caught with 15km to go; the leaders, after a few brief, doomed attacks, were caught with 7km to go. As the lead-outs came to the front, the peloton was strung out, almost fracturing under the pressure of the speed. BikeExchange, Trek-Segafredo, Movistar and Valcar Travel & Service were all prominent on the front; notably, Jumbo-Visma didn’t replicate yesterday’s tactic of having their whole team lined out on the front. Instead, Marianne Vos, lead by one Jumbo-Visma rider, tucked in behind the lead-outs of other teams. 

In the final strait, Franziska Koch took Charlotte Kool into position; both of them are essential parts of Lorena Wiebes’ immaculate leadout. Balsamo was tucked in behind Elisa Longo Borghini, who was piloting her to the line, just as yesterday – and just like yesterday, Marianne Vos opened the sprint up early. Unlike yesterday, however, Balsamo couldn’t get behind Vos, into her slipstream, and couldn’t come around over her. Instead, it was Vos who took an extraordinary 31st win at the Giro Donne. 


Despite missing out on the stage win today, Balsamo’s third place and the accompanying bonus seconds were enough to retain the Maglia Rosa, with Vos moving up to second behind her, and Georgia Baker (BikeExchange) in third. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar) remains ensconced safely in the middle of the top ten, with Cavalli (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine) moving up to tenth.

Balsamo also leads the points classification, with Vos also in second. Franziska Brausse (Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling), after another flat day, continues to lead the mountains classification. 


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