Canyon-SRAM won the opening stage of the Giro Rosa – a team time trial finishing in the home town of Fausto Coppi.
Kasia Niewiadoma, the German squad’s climbing specialist who was second overall at the Women’s Tour last month, led the team home to take the first pink jersey of the race.
Niewiadoma, Hannah Barnes, Alena Amialiusikand and Omer Shapira crossed the line in 31 minutes 41 seconds, with team mates Tiffany Cromwell and Alexis Ryan coming in behind.
The 18 kilometre course from Cassano Spinola to Castellania was anticipated to be an attritional affair, with two 5km climbs and a technical descent. Teams set off at three minute intervals to avoid clashes.
The UCI World Champions in the discipline completed the distance 24s up on second best – Bigla, who championed leader Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig to a leg up on the overall.
The podium was rounded off by CCC-Liv, the team of Marianne Vos and Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, in 32-26.
Lotto-Soudal were the first team to finish with four riders together, other teams allowed gaps to form, perhaps with the general classification considered a greater goal. They completed the course in 33-48, to come 11th.
Mitchelton-Scott, fourth overall, was led home by Amanda Spratt whilst Boels-Dolmans saw Chantel Blaak finish first with Anna van der Breggen in her wake.
Speaking after the race, Niewiadoma said: “It was an amazing race, extremely brutal and hard, but we were thinking about each other from the start. It was not an individual time trial, but a team time trial, so we had to think about each of us.
“Everyone was fighting so hard and that was beautiful to see and very motivating. We’re super happy to be able to win this stage.
“It was horrible from the start… pretty hard with some pretty steep pitches. But also, downhill was technical and the surface wasn’t great. You really had to be focused all the time. We were fighting with our bodies and also our minds, you constantly had to concentrating.”
Giro Rosa, stage one: Cassano Spinola and Castellania (18km)
1 Canyon-SRAM – 31-41
2 Bigla Team – 32-05
3 CCC-Liv – 32-26
4 Mitchelton-Scott – 32-34
5 Boels – Dolmans Cycling Team – 32-45
6 Trek-Segafredo – 32-48
7 Subweb – 33-01
8 Movistar Team – 33-22
9 WNT-ROTOR Pro Cycling – 33-31
10 Team VIRTU Cycling – 33-26-14
General classification after stage one (time gaps TBC)
1. Katarzyna Niewiadoma – Canyon-SRAM
2. Hannah Branes – Canyon-SRAM
3. Omer Shapira – Canyon-SRAM
4. Alena Amialiusik – Canyon-SRAM
5. Leah Thomas – Bigla
6. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig – Bigla
7. Mikayla Harvey – Bigla
8. Elise Chabbey – Bigla
9. Ashleigh Moolman – Pasio – CCC-Liv
10. Marianne Vos – CCC-Liv