Giro d’Italia Donne stage 2: Marianne Vos makes it 31 with sprint victory

Vos scores 31st Giro Donne stage win after missing out Friday.

by VeloNews

photography by Getty Images


This story first appeared on VeloNews.com.

Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) made it victory number 31 at the Giro d’Italia Donne.

Vos went long and early in the Olbia sprint and couldn’t be overhauled by a late comeback from Charlotte Kool (DSM) to add to her huge haul of victories at the Giro.

Kool crossed the line second with pink jersey-wearing Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo) taking third.

“I wanted to try again after my second place yesterday, so I’m glad it worked,” Vos said at the finish.

“We knew there was a big chance of a bunch sprint today. The final was quite technical. The team put me in perfect position, but after that it was difficult to maintain that position in the corners. I was able to follow Romy’s wheel and she delivered me well in the last kilometer.

Vos came close to win number 31 on Friday only to lose out to Balsamo by inches.

Victory in Olbia this weekend is the 239th of Vos’ career and leaves her with a trip to the top of the podium in 11 editions of the Giro Donne.

“I’m going to enjoy this win and tomorrow during the rest day we’ll see what opportunities there are,” she said.

Saturday’s third stage of the Giro was the last on the island of Sardinia before the riders take a day’s rest and the race transfers to the Italian mainland.

A key rider for Lotte Kopecky, SD Worx’ Lonneke Uneken, was the only rider who did not start the race.

It was a scorching day in Sardinia as the route continued its path up the island’s east coast, shifting from the south to the north, beginning in the town of Cala Godone and heading north to Olbia. The women tried to keep themselves cool with ice packs prior to the start.

Balsamo wore the maglia rosa, her first day in the pink jersey on her debut at the race, and her team were visible all day riding at the front of the peloton and controlling the pace.

The opening section of the race was all downhill and the attacks began early, with a solo punt from Lara Vieceli (Ceratizit-WNT) the first combative move of the day. She was caught after 33km and a new group worked their way clear of the bunch.

Just as they did yesterday, the Italian continental teams were up for the challenge, and they featured heavily in the break again on stage 3. When it was finally established, the leading group consisted of three riders: Markéta Hájková (Bepink), Asia Zontone (Isolamant-Premac-Vittoria), and Alice Palazzi (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo). There was a further chasing group of eight riders around half a minute behind.

Riding into a headwind, the leaders were never able to build up a huge gap, although it did go out to around 3.20 with around 40km remaining. Alessia Vigilia (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) attacked from the chasing group with around 25km to go and bridged across.

With 15km remaining the gap to the leaders reduced to less than a minute for the first time as the sprinters’ teams prepared to go to work.

By 10km to go and with the peloton bearing down the breakaway’s cohesion crumbled and they began to attack one another. Vigilia and Katia Ragusa (Liv Racing Xstra) clipped off the front and maintained a small gap but with 7km remaining they were taken back into the fold and the sprinters’ teams lined up in an almost carbon copy of yesterday’s final.

BikeExchange-Jayco took a commanding position at the front of the race as they readied themselves to lead out Georgia Baker, but it was Movistar who drove into the final 3km at the head of the bunch, despite their designated sprinter Emma Norsgaard being out of position.

Into the final 500m, and Vos played it cool as they approached the finish, riding on Balsamo’s wheel as the race leader struggled to find her own leadout woman Elisa Longo Borghini. When Vos launched her sprint, Kool and Balsamo went with her, but neither could match the Dutchwoman’s power as she surged to her first victory of the season, and reversed Friday’s result.

Giro d'Italia Donne (2.WWT) Cala Gonone → Olbia

VOS Marianne
1
VOS Marianne Team Jumbo-Visma
2
KOOL Charlotte Team DSM
3
BALSAMO Elisa Trek - Segafredo
4
BARBIERI Rachele Liv Racing Xstra
5
BERTIZZOLO Sofia UAE Team ADQ
6
KOPECKY Lotte Team SD Worx
7
NORSGAARD Emma Movistar Team
8
9
BAKER Georgia Team BikeExchange - Jayco
10
CONSONNI Chiara Valcar - Travel & Service

BALSAMO Elisa

BALSAMO Elisa

BRAUßE Franziska

KOCH Franziska

Trek - Segafredo

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