Cheers followed Marta Bastianelli down the street as she made her way to the podium after winning Saturday’s ninth stage at the Giro Rosa.
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Bastianelli was helped when her Alé-Cipollini team mate Anna Trevisi escaped with Lauren Kitchen (WM3 Energie) and Malgorzata Jasinska (Cylance) in the final 25km of the 122km stage.
The trio were permitted a lead of 1.30, while the peloton familiarised themselves with the finishing circuit.
However, the peloton were always in control and, with knowledge of the technical final two kilometres, closed the break down to set up a bunch sprint.
“I am very happy for me and my team,” Bastianelli told Cycling Weekly at the sweltering finish line. “It was a hard stage because of the sun and the roads, and in the first kilometres there were a lot of big hills.
“It was emotional because I did not know I had won.
“It is the best for an Italian to win at the Giro Rosa, so I am also happy for the Italian people.”
The first 50 kilometres of the race contained a number of challenging, though unclassified hills which combined with the 39º heat to split the peloton, leaving around 50 riders unable to get back on when the road levelled out.
Those that had stayed in those early kilometres were able to stay in contact with the bunch, in what was an otherwise uneventful race.
The general classification remains unaffected, with Dutch woman Anna van der Breggen maintaining the lead she has held since stage two. Should she hang on through tomorrow’s final stage, which concludes after a climb of the lower slopes of Mount Vesuvius, the 27-year-old will bag her second Giro title.
“It’s not that steep, it looks a bit like the one we has on the second day,” van der Breggen said of the climb. “The corners are steepest bit, so we have to see tonight, and put it in Strava and see how it really is, because you cannot see much from the road book.”
Van der Breggen’s Boels-Dolmans team have held the pink jerseys since winning the opening team time trial near Venice, and it is them she credits for her current position.
“The team around me are incredible and it is special to be in pink the whole Giro. They do everything and they keep me out of trouble, so it fair to say I wouldn’t be in pink without them.
“Anything can happen on the last stage, but all I have to do is follow, but I think that final climb suits me.”
Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile Stage nine result
- Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé-Cipollini 3-05-09
- Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervélo-Bigla
- Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle-High5
- Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana
- Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb
- Alexis Ryan (USA) Canyon-SRAM
- Ilarta Sanguinetti (Ita) BePink
- Amalie Dideriksen (Den) Boels-Dolmans
- Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products
- Natalya Saifutdinova (Kaz) Astana All at same time
General Classification after stage nine
- Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans 22-30-06
- Elisa Longo-Borghini (Ita) Wiggle-High5 at 1-03
- Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Orica-Scott at 1-39
- Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels-Dolmans at 3-07
- Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb at 3-26
- Amanda Spratt (Aus) Orica-Scott at 3-32
- Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Energie at 4-02
- Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels-Dolmans at 4-22
- Claudia Lichtenberg (Ger) Wiggle-High5 at 5-05
- Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana at 5-15