Two weeks ahead of the women’s Tour de France, Annemiek van Vleuten had a dominating victory at the women’s Giro d’Italia. This world champion, who represents Movistar, had established a significant lead which remained unthreatened till the end of the race. The concluding stage of the race, spanning 126 kilometres, was won by Chiara Consonni, beating Marianne Vos by a thin margin.
The route of the Giro Donne, chosen by the organisers, was the quickest path from Sassari to the eastern shoreline of Sardinia. The course included uphill sections to Osilo and Tempio Pausania. Despite the last climb, a further fifty kilometres lay ahead to reach the finishing line at Olbia, which was mostly a gentle downward slope.
Before the race began, there was a moment of reflection to bid farewell to Marta Bastianelli. Earlier in the season Bastianelli confirmed that she would end her active career after the Giro Donne. Her accomplishments included a World Championship in 2007, a European title, Gent-Wevelgem in 2018, and victory in the 2019 Tour of Flanders.
For Annemiek van Vleuten, the race progressed without any hitches. With a lead established after eight stages, Juliette Labous (representing Team DSM-Firmenich) trailed by 3.56″ in second place. Gaia Realini from Lidl-Trek held on to third place, 4’23” minutes behind Van Vleuten’s pink jersey. Veronica Ewers picked up a bonus second which was enough to displace Erica Magnaldi from 4th on stage position countback.
There were frequent breakout attempts, but no early escapes. The peloton ascended to Tempio Pausania all together. Liane Lippert made an attempt to break away on the steep climb, with Van Vleuten’s approval for her Movistar team members to vie for the stage win. However, Lippert could not create a substantial gap and was quickly reeled in. Earlier the likes of Anna Kiesenhofer and Iris Monticolo also rolled the dice.
The downhill gradient of the last thirty kilometres kept the peloton tight. Alessia Vigilia from Top Girls Fassa Bortolo tried to prevent a sprint finish but was unsuccessful. In the subsequent mass sprint, Marianne Vos came very close to winning, but was momentarily held back and narrowly defeated by Italian Chiara Consonni who also won the final stage last year.
Van Vleuten crossed the finish line smoothly, thereby confirming her overall victory in the women’s Giro d’Italia. This marks the fourth and final victory in her career, having previously won in 2018, 2019 and 2022. Van Vleuten is now once again also a strong contender for the women’s Tour de France in two weeks’ time.
2023 Giro Donne Stage 9 result
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