Following the rest day, the 2023 Giro Donne resumed in Sardinia on Saturday, where it concluded with two stages. The first stage spanned 125.7 kilometres from Nuoro to Sassari, covering hilly terrain with a gently sloping finish.
The early part of the stage didn’t see any breakaways. However, after about 30 kilometres, Alessia Vigilia broke away, later joined by Petra Stiasny. This duo’s lead was short-lived as Movistar and Uno-X caught up, leading to a quieter period followed by numerous attacks.
Key riders Mavi García and Niamh Fisher-Black attempted a break, but it was quickly neutralised. Silvia Magri and Floortje Mackaij worked well together, with Magri giving Mackaij a helpful spray of water in the high heat, but the Dutch rider then pulled away, with Mackaij showing good form and outpacing her Italian competitor on the next uphill.
As Mackaij’s lead grew to 1 minute and 20 seconds, the peloton responded, quickening the pace and reducing her lead, allowing Fisher-Black, Veronica Ewers, and Francesca Barale to catch up. The peloton quickly absorbed this new lead group.
Soraya Paladin and García then attempted a break, but were also reeled in and another breakaway attempt saw ten riders, including Mackaij, get ahead, only to be caught again 20 kilometres from the finish. Despite attempts to go clear, it seemed destined that the stage then seemed set for a mass sprint.
Inge van der Heijden, however, made a strong attack with teammate Carina Schrempf 2.5 kilometres from the finish. Schrempf forged ahead, but the peloton closed in, setting the stage for a sprint finish. Soraya Paladin did a huge long turn at the front up the final uphill section in an effort to make things as hard as possible for the rivals of her leader Chloe Dygert.
Marianne Vos, in a strong position, began the sprint but couldn’t sustain the pace and admitted later that she didn’t have the legs today. She was overtaken by several riders, including Blanka Vas, who emerged as the fastest and clinched the stage victory (her first win since the Tour de Suisse opener), ahead of Dygert and Lippert.
The GC battle saw a couple of changes. Erica Magnaldi took 3 bonus seconds to move ahead of Veronica Ewers into 4th place by 1 second. Niamh Fisher-Black lost 30 seconds as well today, dropping to 9th behind Silvia Persico.
2023 Giro Donne Stage 8 result
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