Marianne Vos took the third stage win of the 2019 Giro Rosa on Thursday on yet another uphill finish in San Giorgio di Perlena.
After a day of constant up and down, the final three kilometres were again uphill, with some ramps well into double figures. The punchy nature of the route meant that Vos was able to take time on all but compatriot Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans), with Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) finishing third, some three seconds back.
>> Struggling to get to the shops? Try 6 issues of Cycling Weekly magazine for just £6 delivered to your door <<
Overalll leader Annemiek van Vleuten, who was active on the penultimate climb, retains the overall lead but has lost seven seconds to van der Breggen, who moved up to second overall.
Van Vleuten still leads the race by over four minutes with three stages remaining.
How it happened
Stage seven began in hectic style, with multiple breakaway attempts punctuating the opening 20km of the stage between Cornedo Vicentino and San Giorgio di Perlena, in the country’s north east.
The 128.3km stage was lumpy throughout, with three classified climbs and riders comparing it to the Ardennes before the race.
Those opening kilometres were highly technical, the route winding in and out of towns, the bunch negotiating junctions and road furniture, this and the chance for general classification riders to gain time on the tough finish helping keep the race together.
Even the first of the climbs failed to split the race, though a few kilometres after the descent Anna Plichta (Trek-Segafredo) and Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal Ladies) made a move off the front. Such was the nature of the race that even such strong duo were unable to stay away and were soon swallowed up.
Some teams showed their hand at the day’s only intermediate sprint. Starting the day fourth overall, Lucinda Brand (Sunweb) won the maximum three bonus seconds in an effort to cut the deficit to third place.
After the second classified climb two more riders broke free, the race’s best young rider, Juliette Labous (Sunweb) who began the day eighth overall, and Małgorzata Jasinska (Movistar) went clear.
For a moment it seemed they would be allowed their head, but after four kilometres they too were caught by the bunch who by then had covered the lumpy opening two hours at more than 41kph.
In the historic two of Marostica the bunch took on the climb of Rosina twice, and it was there that a break finally went away, with Leah Kirchmann managing to go clear.
The Sunweb rider built a 50 second advantage on two circuits of the town, but was caught as the race moved to its conclusion and the impossibly difficult cobbled climb of Muro della Tisa.
There, with the gradient approaching 20%, a group of six riders went clear, including race leader Annemiek van Vleuten putting the pressure on for her team mate Amanda Spratt. Though they gained a lead of about 20 seconds, they were unable to capitalise on their advantage and were brought back on the descent to the final climb.
Tomorrow’s eighth stage sees the peloton tackle a 133.3km course between Vittorio Veneto and Maniago. With two major climbs half way through, the route is relatively flat in the final 20km, only gaining 100 metres, and may provide an opportunity for the sprinters, though a breakaway could also be on the cards, the bunch taking it easy after a brutal preceding seven days.
Giro Rosa Iccrea: stage seven, Cornedo Vicentino – San Giorgio di Perlena (128.3km)
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv in 3-19-33
2. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at same time
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 03 sec
4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott at same time
5. Demi Vollering (Ned) Parkhotel-Valkenburg at 09 sec
6. Soraya Paladin (Ita) Alé-Cipollini
7. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM
8. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (RSA) CCC-Liv
9. Ane Santesteban (Esp) WNT-Rotor all at same time
10. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton-Scott at 12 sec.
General classification after stage seven
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Mtichelton-Scott in 15-01-51
2. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels-Dolmans at 4-08
3. Kasia Niewiadoma (Pol) Canyon-SRAM at 4-23
4. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb at 5-26
5. Amanda Spratt (Aus) Mitchelton Scott at 5-30
6. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Trek-Segafredo at 5-43
7. Katie Hall (USA) at Boels-Dolmans at 6-20
8. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (RSA) CCC-Liv at 6-39
9. Juliette Labous (Fra) Sunweb at 6-39
10. Erica Magnaldi (Ita) WNT-Rotor at 6.46;
Catch up on the race so far:
- Canyon-SRAM win Giro Rosa stage one TTT with most teams strung out by the finish
- Marianne Vos powers to stage two victory at Giro Rosa
- Marianne Vos snatches victory on stage three of the Giro Rosa after Lucy Kennedy celebrates too early
- Breakaway win on Giro Rosa stage four whilst Niewiadoma holds on to the lead
- Annemiek van Vleuten wins Giro Rosa stage five to take the maglia rosa
- Annemiek van Vleuten extends Giro Rosa lead with stage six time trial win