Giro Donne: It’s SD Worx’s world, we’re just living in it

by Abby Mickey

photography by Cor Vos


With 8 km remaining of the 15 km climb that finished off the second stage of the Giro Donne, Anna van der Breggen upped her pace and dropped the rest of her competitors. It was bound to happen. Van der Breggen has had two historic seasons in a row. In 2020 and 2021 she won 14 races, including the general classification of the 2020 Giro Rosa and 2 World Championship titles.

Van der Breggen stormed to the lead at the Giro Donne by a minute and 22 seconds. Her biggest competitors? Her teammates.

With eight stages remaining, SD Worx not only leads the general classification with Van der Breggen, but they are also sitting pretty in second and third overall.

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio was the one rider to follow Van der Breggen at the base of the climb, but the South African was only able to hold onto her teammate’s wheel for a hundred or so meters. She finished the day second, moving into second overall.

Demi Vollering, 2021’s ‘It girl,’ finished third at a minute and 51 seconds behind Van der Breggen, outsprinting FDJ Nouvella Aquitaine Futurscope’s Marta Cavalli.

SD Worx’s team time trial loss on stage 1 apparently did not indicate any kind of disorganization in the team. After the finish of stage 2, the race looks to be a fight for third. They came into the race with four potential leaders and, unlike Ineos Grenadiers at the Tour de France, are headed into the remaining stages with the race all but won.

What’s interesting is what SD Worx’s dominance means for the rest of the 10-day race. A brutal general classification battle looms behind them and the peloton will look at the possibility of a breakaway day on stage 3. SD Worx has allowed breaks to slip away in the past when they didn’t want to waste energy controlling. For example, the final stage of the Giro Rosa in 2020.

The stage 4 time trial will again leave it up to the individual riders, and it will be fascinating to watch Vollering’s fight. Vollering hasn’t been racing for very long and has only raced a handful of time trials. She finished 13th in a similar ITT in the 2019 Giro Rosa, but it’s hard to read into that result, given how much Vollering has improved since then.

After stage 2, the only rider in the top 10 who excels at a time trial is Mavi García, the Spanish ITT national champion. However, the Alé BTC Ljubljana rider would have to take over a minute and nine seconds on Vollering to even move onto the podium.

Stage 9 will be the next significant potential GC rocking day, but it’s the Giro Donne, so who knows what could happen by then.


Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile (2.Pro) Boves → Prato Nevoso

VAN DER BREGGEN Anna
2
3
VOLLERING Demi SD Worx
4
CAVALLI Marta FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope
5
MAGNALDI Erica Ceratizit-WNT Pro Cycling
6
REALINI Gaia Isolmant - Premac - Vittoria
7
GARCÍA Mavi Alé BTC Ljubljana
8
SPRATT Amanda Team BikeExchange
9
GUDERZO Tatiana Alé BTC Ljubljana
10
LABOUS Juliette Team DSM

VAN DER BREGGEN Anna

VAN DER BREGGEN Anna

VAN DER BREGGEN Anna

FISHER-BLACK Niamh

SD Worx

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