Anna Van der Breggen wins the Giro Rosa, Évita Muzic takes final stage
In a chaotic and wild final day of the Giro Rosa 21-year-old Évita Muzic of FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope was victorious out of a large breakaway, followed by the New Zealand national champion Niamh Fisher-Black (Equipe Paule Ka) in second and Team Sunweb’s Juliette Labous in third.
Anna van der Breggen safely crossed the line in the reduced peloton behind the break to win the third Giro Rosa of her career, adding to her wins in 2017 and 2015. The Boels-Dolmans rider won the race by a minute and 14-seconds over Canyon//SRAM’s Kasia Niewiadoma and just over two minutes to Trek-Segafredo’s Elisa Longo Borghini, who made up the general classification podium.
How it happened
With four laps of a roughly 9-kilometer climb, followed by 6 kilometers of rolling and then into a technical descent, the final stage of the Giro Rosa was a fun one. The peloton rolled out of Motta Montecorvino for the first time in cycling history to take on the final 109.88km of this year’s race.
As the riders approached the second lap of the climb the peloton had fractured into three pieces. There was a leading group of 27 riders followed by a second group and the third which contained the race leader, Van der Breggen, 51-seconds down. This gap rapidly increased, eventually reaching almost five minutes with 42-kilometers to go.
The final climb of the race caused some shuffling of the breakaway, with riders dropping off the back, some riders trying to bridge from the peloton containing the GC leaders, and some riders getting fed up with such a large move and heading off the front. In short: chaos.
The confusion continued until the very end of the race, with riders attacking and being dropped from the group of leaders all the way to the line. FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope’s Évita Muzic was the first to cross the line out of a group of seven riders, followed by Fisher-Black and Labous.
“My first win, and especially in this race, it’s just crazy.” Muzic said after the stage. “Brodie did a very very good job, she did the whole climb full gas so I have to win for the team and for her so, I’m just happy.”
Behind, the pink jersey group also experienced aggressive riding, as Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig tried to make up the two-second difference between herself and Elisa Longo Borghini and move onto the podium of the general classification. Her attempts came too late in the race, plus, Longo Borghini was tacked onto her wheel like glue. In the end, there was no significant damage to Van der Breggen’s lead and the top three of the general classification after stage eight remained the same.
“Really happy of course it’s special to win the Giro. The last day is always a bit exciting, I mean, the gaps were pretty big, but still, it was a hard lap.” Van der Breggen said of the final Giro Rosa stage. “I had the team around me the whole day and I felt confident with them around me. Today was a really big win for the team and not so much for me.”
After some aggressive riding all week, the mountains classification was won by Uttrup Ludwig. Marianne Vos’ three stage wins meant she walked away from the Giro Rosa with the points jersey, while Mikayla Harvey’s strong performance all week awarded her with the best young rider jersey.
And with that, the 2020 Giro Rosa is a wrap. Always slightly controversial, with the lack of live coverage and difficult organization, the Giro Rosa remains an exciting race for the riders and those of us who love to soak up the mayhem. The longest women’s stage race on the calendar never fails to disappoint, whether that be the good or the bad that comes with the race. 2021 is a new year, and who knows, maybe we can watch these incredible women battle it out on the roads of Italy live.
1. Évita Muzic FDJ, 3:16:30
2. Niamh Fisher-Black EPK, st
3. Juliette Labous SUN, st
4. Katia Ragusa AST, +0:03
5. Ellen van Dijk TSF, +0:04
6. Erica Magnaldi WNT, +0:08
7. Sabrina Stultiens CCC, +0:10
8. Eugenia Bujak ALE, +0:25
9. Arlenis Sierra AST, +0:36
10. Paula Andrea Patino MOV, +0:42
Final General Classification
1. Anna van der Breggen DLT
2. Kasia Niewiadoma CSR, +1:14
3. Elisa Longo Borghini TSF, +2:20
4. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig FDJ, +2:22
5. Mikayla Harvey EPK, +2:52
6. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio CCC, +5:02
7. Ane Santesteban WNT, +6:31
8. Paula Andrea Patino MOV, +6:54
9. Mavi García ALE, +7:06
10. Évita Muzic ALE, +7:47