Ruth Winder (Team Sunweb) won stage five of the Giro Rosa, charging ahead of her two breakaway companions Taylor Wiles (Trek Drops) and Alice Maria Arzuffi (Bizkaia Durango–Euskadi Murias) who took second and third respectively.
The break formed following the classified climb which came in the later half of the 122 kilometre day starting and finishing in Omegna.
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The trio held off the chasers until the end, and Marianne Vos (WaowDeals) won the bunch gallop behind to take fourth 1 minute 17 seconds behind USA rider Winder.
Winder continues Team Sunweb’s domination of the maglia rosa by moving into pink – she’s the fourth rider from the German squad to lead the race in five days.
How it happened
After a selection of fairly flat days, stage five marked the beginning of the more climb-laden second half of the race – climaxing with Monte Zoncolan on stage nine.
The key ascent of the day was the Someraro mountain pass, a 6km ascent at around 7 per cent which appeared at the 90km mark. However, it was followed by a descent and then a flatter roll into the finish.
Early in the race, a break of twelve strong riders formed – this consisted of Christine Majerus (Boels-Dolmans), Elena Cecchini (Canyon SRAM), Clara Koppenburg (Cervelo Bigla), Eugénie Duval (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope), Sara Roy (Mitchelton Scott),Liane Lippert (Team Sunweb), Barbara Guarischi (Team Virtu Cycling Women), Silvia Persico, Chiara Consonni and Giulia Maria Confalonieri (Valcar PBM), Dani King (WaowDeals) and Emilia Fahlin (Wiggle High5).
As the rider’s approached a long stretch alongside the Lago d’Orta, they’d managed to create a one minute distance between themselves and the peloton, which was headed by the teams that didn’t have representation in the break – such as Cylance.
The break increased its lead to 1-20, but this began to drop as they turned into a headwind towards Maggiore, and come the 50km to go mark the hopeful bunch was caught.
The key climb of the day arrived with 35km remaining, and it was Sabrina Stultiens (WaowDeals) who put it upon herself to stretch out the bunch.
She was eventually swept up and the first riders to crest the climb were Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton Scott) and Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5) – Longo Borghoni doing enough to hold on to the climber’s jersey.
However, an attack cooked up between Arzuffi (Bizkaia Durango – Euskadi Murias), Winder (Team Sunweb) and Wiles (Trek Drops) proved to be pivotal.
The three climbers – Niewiadoma, Spratt and Longo Borghini tried to close the gap, but to no success as the escapees picked up speed down the mountain and charged towards the finish.
With 3km remaining, Arzuffi attacked her companions, but gained no distance, leaving the gate open for Windsor to charge to the win, ahead of Wiles, leaving Arzuffi the third space on the podium.
The peloton reached the line 1-17 down, with Vos being the first to cross it.
Stage six should be an exciting race, with a summit finish preceded by a 15km climb, and the 15km mountain time trial on stage seven is likely to see selections made in the general classification ahead of the Monte Zoncolan on stage nine.
Giro Rosa 2018 stage five: Omegna – Omegna, 122km
1 Ruth Winder (USA) Team Sunweb in 3-01-06
2 Taylor Wiles (USA) Trek Drops
3 Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Bizkaia Durango – Euskadi Murias
4 Marianne Vos (Ned) WaowDeals, at 1-17
5 Megan Guarnier (USA) Wiggle High5
6 Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Cylance
7 Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Valcar–PBM
8 Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott
9 Soraya Paladin (Ita) Alé Cipollin
10 Nadia Quagliotto (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
General Classification after stage five
1. Ruth Winder (USA) Sunweb in 12-39-36
2. Leah Kirchmann (Can) Subweb, at 1-27
3. Lucinda Brand (Led) Sunweb, at 1-33
4. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott, at 1-38
5. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott, at same time
6. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Subweb, at 1-44
7. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) Cervelo Bigla, at 1-49
8. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Cervelo Bigla, at same time
9. Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervelo Bigla, at 1-51
10. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM, at 2-00