The punishing stages of the Giro Donne often leave riders on some of the smaller teams outside the time limit and unable to continue onto the next stage, but rarely do riders get cut during a time trial. The stage 4 uphill time trial saw Anna van der Breggen throw down such a blistering time that 12 riders were cut from the race.
It was the second stage win by the ITT and road world champion and the victory increased Van der Breggen’s general classification lead by a minute and 30 seconds. Heading into the fifth stage of the Giro Donne, Van der Breggen leads over her SD Worx teammate Demi Vollering by two minutes 51 seconds.
“I am in a very luxury position to have the girls around me and it’s really nice to race with them, and also for my last year to do it like this, it’s nice,” Van der Breggen said after the victory. “But still, we are only halfway and you still need to have good legs. There are flat stages coming up and some hard climbing stages also. Hopefully, it stays like this but I think for sure we have to fight for it.”
Van der Breggen finished the 11.2 km uphill time trial in 24:57, a minute six seconds faster than Vollering. Grace Brown of Team BikeExchange broke up the SD Worx party, finishing third, 13 seconds faster than Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, but still a minute and a half behind the winner.
After stage 4, with six stages remaining, it’s hard to see Lizzie Deignan (Trek-Segafredo), the closest non-SD Worx rider to Van der Breggen, making up the nearly six minutes it would take to move into pink. Even for Deignan to displace Vollering and move onto the podium, she will need to find over two minutes and 50 seconds.