Annemiek van Vleuten won the seventh stage of the Giro Donne, extending her victories after winning stage two and stage six yesterday. On the last climb, she surpassed Juliette Labous and Gaia Realini, who finished second and third, respectively, thereby boosting her overall lead.
The seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia Donne travelled from Albenga to Alassio over 109.1 kilometres and included four climbs. The race began with no breakaway group until Elena Pirrone took the lead, only to be overtaken at the second climb, Il Vigneto.
Victorie Guilman and Pauliena Rooijakkers briefly led the race but were soon caught. Fem van Empel sprinted ahead at Il Vigneto, grabbing some points for the mountain jersey. Shortly after, Anouska Koster broke away and led alone, gaining over a minute on the peloton.
At the Colle Paravenna, the race’s second-last climb, Koster was caught, leaving the favourites to battle in the last 15 kilometres. The competition intensified with Mavi García, Niamh Fisher-Black, Juliette Labous, Gaia Realini, and Van Vleuten. García initially broke away, but Van Vleuten quickly closed the gap, leaving Realini and Labous trailing while Veronica Ewers lost significant time.
After catching García, Van Vleuten pushed ahead, putting pressure on her competitors. She maintained her lead in the final 2.6-kilometre climb at 7.3 per cent, winning her third stage. Labous and Realini completed the stage second and third, respectively.
The Giro Donne will have a rest day tomorrow as the peloton travels across the water to Sardinia for the final 2 days of the 2023 race. It now looks set in stone that Annemiek van Vleuten will win the GC battle avoiding any late mishaps like the 2020 event where she broke her wrist whilst wearing the maglia rosa.
“This was a good one, as it was really a team effort. Perhaps that wasn’t the case on the first day. But today the team rode perfectly to defend the jersey. Everyone did their job. It’s very nice to then finish it off. It was a very good situation in the finale.
I had Gaia Realini in front of me rather than on my wheel. They had to work for the podium. That was ideal for us. You can’t plan for that, but we had planned to have some teammates in front. This way we could give Paula Patiño and Liane Lippert a chance. If everything was together for the last climb, it was up to me. That was planned because yesterday I saw this beautiful finish.
I’m glad we scouted the route yesterday, as it allowed me to enjoy the beautiful views. Today that was not possible, as I was suffering a lot.”Annemiek van Vleuten
2023 Giro Donne Stage 7 result
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Main photo credit: Getty Sport / Movistar Team