Lorena Wiebes takes second win at Giro Donne 2021 in stage eight sprint

Once again DSM timed their lead out to perfection, while Anna van der Breggen continues in the maglia rosa

Lorena Wiebes wins stage eight of the 2021 Giro Donne
(Image credit: Getty Images)

It was two from two efforts for Dutchwoman Lorena Wiebes on Friday, the Team DSM rider taking a second stage win at the Giro Donne.

Once again the 22-year-old proved herself the fastest in the world, out-sprinting Emma Norsgaard (Movistar) after an excellent lead out from Coryn Rivera. Maria Vittoria Sperotto (AR Monex) took third.

Movistar had been in complete control for much of the closing 30km, marshaling the front of the peloton with their whole team, while other squads had committed only one rider. The Spanish squad led the way into the closing 500m of what was a messy sprint with many other teams jostling for position.  

As they did when Wiebes won stage five, DSM left it late to come to the front, the team lurking on Movistar’s shoulder until the final 300m when Coryn Rivera led Wiebes to the front with almost embarrassing ease. 

After winning her 30th Giro stage yesterday, Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) finished fifth and the Jumbo-Visma rider will miss the rest of the race, heading home to complete her Olympic preparations.

How it happened

The pre-race was notable for a number of withdrawals, with one of the pre-event favourites Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) finally succumbing to injuries sustained in an opening day crash.

However, it also saw the entire Tibco-Silicon Valley Bank team quit the race after an internal COVID-19 test returned a positive. This came the day after the squad’s British rider, Leah Dixon failed to finish stage seven. It is not known which rider tested positive.

Stage eight’s pan flat 129.4km route between San Vendemiano and Mortegliano not only crossed from the Veneto region to Friuli-Venezia-Giulia, but also provided a last opportunity for the sprinters.

The day began in aggressive fashion with one group after another trying to get away, though none were able to build any sort of lead, the peloton once again flying along ahead of schedule.

The attacks continued well into the race and it was only with around 55km done that anything stuck, Anastasia Carbonari (Born To Win G20 Ambedo) getting a gap. She had 1-20 when she was finally caught by her team-mate Natalia Studenikina and Giorgia Vetorello (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), and the peloton finally allowed them their heads, the advantage expanding to more than three minutes as they reached the day’s final 50km.

And that’s where the gap stayed until around 35km were left, when Emma Norsgaard’s Movistar team and the DSM squad of stage five winner, Lorena Wiebes worked together to chip away at the lead.

Joined at the front by Jumbo-Visma, the gap dropped below one minute just as the leaders passed the 15km to go marker. The bunch were always in control though, bringing the three escapees back with 6.1km to go.

The final marred by a late crash with five kilometres to go, which took out both of BikeExchange’s leaders. Amanda Spratt crashed out of last year’s Giro, and was seen clutching her collarbone on Friday, while Grace Brown also crashed. Not only does it ruin their Giro, with no news on their condition it also raises questions about their Olympic participation.

Saturday’s penultimate stage will decide whether Anna van der Breggen can hold on for a fourth Giro title. Beginning in Feletto-Umberto there is a third and second category climb before the final mountain top finish at Monte Matajur, close to the Slovenian border.

Nearly 14km at an average of 7.7 per cent there will be huge time gaps after what has been a testing week.

Results

Giro d’Italia Donne, stage eight: San Vendemiamo - Mortelgiano (129.4km)

1. Lorena Wiebes (Ned) DSM in 3-10-01
2. Emma Norsgaard (Den) Movistar
3. Maria Vittoria Sperotto (Ita) AR Monex
4. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT
5. Marianne Vos (Ned) Jumbo-Visma
6. Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Alé-BTC Ljubljana
7. Elena Checchini (Ita) SD Worx
8. Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Liv Racing
9. Ilaria Sanguinetti (Ita) Valcar Travel and Service
10. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Trek-Segafredo

General classification after stage eight

1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) SD Worx
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) SD Worx at 2-55
3. Demi Vollering (Ned) SD Worx at 3-07
4. Lizzie Deignan (Gbr) Trek-Segafredo at 5-56
5. Elise Chabbey (Sui) Canyon-SRAM at 6-27
6. Erica Magnaldi (Ita) Ceratizit-WNT at 6-39
7. Mavi Garcia (Esp) Alé-BTC Ljubljana at 7-01
8. Juliette Labous (Fra) DSM at 7-05
9. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Alé-BTC Ljubljana at 7-28
10. Niamh Fisher-Black (NZ) SD Worx at 7-50