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WOMEN'S CYCLING BROUGHT TO YOU BY ORBEA
We are already halfway through the 2017 Giro Rosa so it’s time to catch up on all the action and see women’s cycling’s biggest event through the lens of photographers Anton Vos and Jeff Clark.
Now in its 28th edition, the Giro Rosa is the only remaining Grand Tour on the women’s calendar, and winning it comes with a lot of prestige. The battle for the iconic Maglia Rosa (pink jersey) is hard-fought, and while less hilly on paper, the 2017 edition has been filled with excitement.
From brutal 30% grades to inspiring teamwork and photo finish finales, the first five stages of the tour have been filled with action, and we’ve still got five more stages to go!
Boels-Dolmans took control of the race after winning the stage one team time trial. Their Canadian rider Karol-Ann Canuel was the first to wear the pink jersey, only to hand it off to teammate and Olympic champion Anna van der Breggen in stage two.
Stage two saw a three-person break of jersey wearers go free on the biggest climb of the day. Anna van der Breggen in pink, Annemiek van Vleuten in the climbers’ jersey and best Italian rider Elisa Longo Borghini rode into the finish together nearly two minutes on the next group of riders. The three-up sprint was won by GC hopeful Van Vleuten (Orica-Scott), but Van der Breggen remained in pink.
Despite various attacks and breakaway attempts, stage three ended in a bunch sprint. After coming so close in the Women’s Tour last month, Canyon-SRAM’s Hannah Barnes finally bested her fellow sprinter, crossing the line ahead of Lotta Lepistö (Cervélo-Bigla) and Kirsten Wild (Cylance).
Stage four was a prime example of excellent teamwork. A pancake flat course in hot temperatures was made interesting by Boels-Dolmans’ efforts to break up the peloton, splitting the bunch in several groups and reducing the 165-rider field to around 60 riders at the time of the finish. The sprint was a nailbiter. Chloe Hosking was believed to be the winner, but after consulting the finish photo, it was Wiggle-High5’s Jolien D’Hoore who walked away with the stage win. Missing the break, Van Vleuten fell off the GC podium and would have to put up an impressive time trial in stage five to make up some time.
Stage five was an individual time trial with brutal climbs that were steeper than the race bible had indicated. Riders struggled as gradients pitched up to 30%. Annemiek van Vleuten had an incredible ride, coming in 41 seconds ahead of race leader Van der Breggen and 1:15 ahead of Longo Borghini.
Current GC standings:
Race reports and video highlights: