Marianne Vos took stage the stage win in Terracina on stage five of the Giro Rosa.
The stage could have been one for the stranger sprinters but the former world champion used her team to perfection, ensuring she was the strongest in what was a technical final.
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The finish line came around 300m from a tight, 90º corner and the Dutchwoman was perfectly positioned by her team near the front. As it opened up Vos was able to hold off Belgian Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal) who finished a close second, with Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) in third, her best ever Giro Rosa stage finish.
Finishing on the same time in 28th place, Annemiek van Vleuten defended her overall lead.
How it happened
Starting and finishing on the coast in Terracina, some 50km south of Rome, stage five might have been the first opportunity for the sprinters in this year’s Giro Rosa.
Though there was more that 1200 metres of climbing in 110.3km stage, neither of the two classified climbs were too tough and the second topped out more than 22km for the line. Plenty of time for those sprinters who had slipped backwards to get back on.
The moment the flag was dropped Ainara Elbusto (Casa Dorada) attacked and soon had a gap of 30 seconds. Others tried their luck chasing the Spanish rider, but brought the pack with them and the attack was neutralised with 15km gone, the pack flying along the coast road.
With that attack neutralised it was Top Girls Fassa Borltolo’s turn, as they sent Giorgia Bariani away, a move whig instigated a series of attacks for some of the smaller teams who had neither will or ability to show themselves on the race’s earlier stages.
The race remained incredibly hectic until, after 30km, finally Markéta Hájková (BePink) and Małgorzata Jasinska (Casa Dorada) managed to get away, though their lead never topped 50 seconds.
As the race moved onto the the first of those classified climbs, a 16km slog to Madonna della Civita, Vos’s CCC-Liv team came to the front pushing the pace and Hájková and Jasinska were soon caught and passed.
The climb formed a south facing bowl, baking the riders and combining with the pace to split the bunch, Vos’s team attempting to distance the pure sprinters.
With the race in two parts, CCC-Liv continued to push hard ensuring the two groups that had formed on the ascent would not come back together. On the descent, and on the flat before the final climb they continued to push, beginning the second climb with a lead just over a minute.
Short and punchy this climb would never have too much impact, but over the top Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) attacked reaching the top alone. Her move played directly into Vos’s hands, with other teams coming to the front to assist the chase to ensure the Italian made no gains on her sixth place overall.
Longo Borghini was finally caught with around three kilometres to go as the team jockeyed for position in the sprint.
Wednesday’s sixth stage between Torre del Greco and Vulcano Buono has been altered after a bridge collapse. Shortened to 89km, it still contains 1200m of ascending, most of that coming in a long climb and we may well see a similar scenario to Tuesday’s race.
Giro Rosa 2020, stage five: Terracina to Terracina (110km)
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Live in 2-47-27
2. Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto-Soudal
3. Lizzie Deignan (Gbr) Trek-Segafredo
4. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb
5. Lisa Brennauer (Ger) Ceratizit-WNT
6. Alison Jackson (Can) Sunweb
7. Sandra Alonso (Esp) Casa Dorada
8. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
9. Jelena Erić (Ser) Movistar
10. Vittoria Guazzini (Ita) Valcar Travel and Service all at same time
General classification after stage five
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton Scott in 15-23-00
2. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon SRAM at 1-56
3. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 2-03
4. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope at 3-03
5. Mikayla Harvey (NZ) Equipe Paule Ka at 4-21
6. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 4.32
7. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) at 4-34
8. Mavi García (Esp) Ale-BTC Ljubljana at 4-38
9. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv at 5-19
10. Elise Chabbey (Sui) Equipe Paule Ka at 5-36