By Owen Rogers
After a quiet few days for the British riders at the the Giro d’Italia Femminile, stage five saw Lucy Garner (Giant-Shimano) finish in the top 10. Riding her first Giro, the Leicestershire teenager sprinted to ninth place behind Marianne Vos, who won her third stage of the 10-day race.
The 19 year old had hoped for an opportunity to sprint in one of the stages and yesterday’s was the perfect for her. Other than a short climb in the middle of the course, the day was a flat run north along the coast to Cesenatico, the home and last resting place of Marco Pantani.
The pace was high from the start at Jesi, with break after break being chased down by an uncooperative peloton. Only when a bunch sprint became inevitable did the speed relent as teams organised themselves for the final.
Garner was pleased with her day, “It was pretty strung out going into the sprint and I probably wasn’t in the best position,” the double junior World Champion told Cycling Weekly. “I had to go and try and it was nice to be in the final again. It wasn’t my best sprint, but I am happy with ninth.”
Yesterday was the last opportunity for sprinters and Garner is looking to work for her team leader. “The main goal for us is to keep Claudia [Lichtenberg] safe. I know I won’t survive the mountains, so I have to do as much as possible early on for the team. It’s going to be tough but I’m looking forward to it,” she explained.
Time bonuses for Vos’s third stage win extend her lead in the general classification to 41 seconds over team mate and Flèche Wallonne winner, Pauline Ferrand-Prevot.
Stage six, between Gaiarine and San Fior, is the first in the mountains and the climbing specialists may look to attack World Champion Vos, though even if she loses the lead, don’t bet against a team mate wearing pink tomorrow.
Giro d’Italia Femminile, stage five
1. Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv)
2. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle-Honda)
3. Shelley Olds (Alé Cipollini)
4. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS)
5. Chloe Hosking (Hitec Products)
6. Annalisa Cucinotta (Servetto Footon)
7. Carmen Small (Specialized-Lululemon)
8. Glada Borgato (Estado Mexico-Faren Kuota)
9. Lucy Garner (Giant-Shimano)
10. Edita Janeliunaite (Forno d’Asolo-Astute)
Overall classification after stage five
1. Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) in 14:57:22
2. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv) at 0:41
3. Elisa Longo-Borghini (Hitec Products) at 0:49
4. Annamiek van Vleuten (Rabo-Liv) at 2:01
5. Emma Johansson (Orica-AIS) at 2:10
6. Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) at 2:10
7. Claudia Lichtenberg (Giant-Shimano) at 2:13
8. Anna van der Breggan (Rabo-Liv) at 2:14
9. Ashleigh Moolman (Hitec Products) at 2:18
10. Audrey Cordon (Hitec Products) at 2:44
Marianne Vos takes stage four win to retain overall lead in 2014 Giro Rosa