The Mitchelton-Scott rider took her third victory at the 2018 race to cement overall domination

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Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) won the final stage of the 2018 Giro Rosa, confirming her place as the overall winner.

Van Vleuten took her third win at this year’s edition of the Italian race, attacking with five kilometres remaining to ride solo to the line ahead of Lucinda Brand (Suweb) and Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).

An early break was caught on the opening slopes of the day’s only classified climb, giving way for a group of ten – including Van Vleuten – to push the pace.

As the summit approached, the Dutch rider attacked and made her winning move to distance herself from the leading group, riding solo to the line and reaching it almost half a minute before the sprint for second and third place ensued.

The second GC spot went to Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla) with Van Vleuten’s team mate Amanda Spratt third.

How it happened

The 120 kilometre stage, starting and finishing in Friuli, was a hilly route with one classified climb to San Leonardo which began just 17km left to the line.

With around 15km of racing under their belts, a large group of 13 riders broke away to gain a margin of 20 seconds on the peloton.

The escapees included Chantal Blaak (Boels-Dolmans), Chloe Hosking (Ale-Cippolini), Alice Gasparini (Eurotarget – Bianchi – Vitasana), Katia Ragusa (BePink), Dani Christmas (Bizkaia Durango – Euskadi Murias), Elena Cecchini (Canyon-SRAM), Carmela Cipriani (Conceria Zabri-Fanini-Guerciotti), Sheyla Gutierrez (Cylance), Małgorzata Jasińska (Movistar), Anna Ceoloni (S.C. Michela Fanini Rox), Juliette Labous (Sunweb), Eva Buurman (Trek Drops) and Jeanne Korevaar (WaowDeals).

The best placed rider in the break was Christmas, who was 24-03 down on race leader Van Vleuten going into the stage. Come 96km remaining, and the gap had grown to 34s, rising to 1-07 with 81km left.

The intermediate sprint, at Faedis with 72km left, went to Ragusa, with Christmas second.

The gap between the 13 rider break and the peloton continued to stretch, with 50km left there was 2-44 of open road between the groups.

As the classified climb grew closer, with 28km left Ellen van Dijk (Sunweb) attacked the peloton, getting within 1-25 of the break who lead the peloton by 2-20.

Come the opening ramps of the climb, Van Dijk was caught, with the gap to the lead 13 sinking to only 3os.

Once the catch was made, the race’s most prolific climbers took their chance to attack the final mountain of the 2018 Giro Rosa.

The 10 strong selection included maglia rosa Van Vleuten and Spratt, Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans), Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervelo-Bigla), Victoria Garcia (Movistar), Moolman-Pasio, Lucinda Brand (Sunweb), Juliette Labous (Sunweb), Dani King (WaowDeals) and Ane Santesteban (Ale Cippolini).

The climb almost dispatched, with 5km remaining, race leader Van Vleuten attacked – gaining 20s on her team mate Spratt who controlled the chasers.

The Dutch rider reached the line alone, 27s ahead of the chasers, with Brand and Niewiadoma taking the other two podium spots.

Results

Giro Rosa stage ten, Friuli to Friuli (120km)

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott
2. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb, at 27s
3. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM
4. Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels-Dolmans
5. Margarita Victoria Garcia (SPA) Movistar
6. Amanda Spratt (AUS) Mitchelton-Scott
7. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo-Bigla
8. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo-Bigla
9. Ane Santesteban (SPA) Ale Cipollini, at same time
10. Juliette Labous (Fra) ,Sunweb, at 1-14

Final General Classification

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) Cervelo-Bigla, at 4-12
3. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at 6-30
4. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb, at 7-36
5. Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels-Dolams, at 9-20
6. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo-Bigla, at 10-38
7. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM, at 10-46
8. Eider Merino (Spa) Movistar, at 12-37
9. Ane Santesteban (Spa) Ale Cippolini, at 13-12
10. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5, at 13-47