Marianne Vos took her third Giro Rosa stage win of this year’s race and her second in successive days on Wednesday. Once again the former world champion benefitted from outstanding teamwork, and duly finished it off in a shopping centre car park in Nola.
With a winding finish to the line she was perfectly positioned and crossed the line just ahead of former British champion Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM), with Lotte Koppecky (Lotto-Soudal) extending her run of outstanding performances in third.
Like yesterday, Vos’s win was once again due in no small part to her CCC-Liv team-mates, who worked to drop the specialist sprinters on the day’s classified climbs.
Tomorrow there is a chance she could replicate last season’s haul of stage wins, though much will depend on how the last climb inside the closing 10km is ridden.
Annemiek van Vleuten retained her overall lead with just three days to go.
How it happened
After the intended 11km of neutral was inexplicably reduced to about four kilometres, the race got underway through the once affluent streets of Torre del Greco, just south of Naples.
Such a short stage was always likely to attract aggressive racing and so it was, with two riders heading off the front and being caught immediately. This pattern that was repeated many times over, with Ceratizit-WNT being especially aggressive in these early stages, second three riders in different breaks.
It was only on the opening climb after 30km that the race settled at all, with Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig taking maximum points to strengthen her lead in the competition.
The race entered a period of consolidation in the valley, teams taking time to collect drinks before the next climb. There, it was CCC-Liv who came to the front as they did in stage five, when they kept the pace high enough tom drop the pure sprinters, allowing Marianne Vos a clearer route to victory.
Though other squads were aware this tactic was coming, those looking to their sprinters for a result were unable to keep them in the front group and in contention, the group over one minute back as the race topped the final climb with around 23km to go.
In the final 10km Mariia Novolodskaia (Cogeas-Mettler-Look) launched an audacious solo effort leading by 25 seconds onto the closing two kilometres. However, the Russian rider crashed leaving Vos to take the bunch sprint.
Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, stage four: Torre del Greco – Vulcano Buono Nola (89km)
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv, in 2-14-24
2. Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon SRAM
3. Lotte Koppecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal
4. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb
5. Amy Pieters (Ned) Boels-Dolmans
6. Arlenis Sierra (Cub) Astana
7. Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Valcar Travel and Service
8. Giorgia Bariani (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo
9. Stine Borgli (Nor) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
10. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM, all at same time
General classification after stage six
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton Scott, in 17-37-28
2. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon SRAM, at 1-52
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) CCC-Liv, at 4-34
8. Mavi García (Esp) Ale-BTC Ljubljana, at 4-38
9. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv, at 5-02
10. Elise Chabbey (Sui) Equipe Paule Ka, at 5-32