How the Giro Donne 2022 GC battle looks after Stage 1

Kristen Faulkner took an amazing victory in the short 4.7km time trial that opened the Giro Donne yesterday. She was 4 seconds ahead of her teammate Georgia Baker and 6 seconds ahead of the next competition in Elisa Balsamo and Lotte Kopecky. On a short stage, like yesterday’s, that’s a huge margin of victory.

Giro Donne 2022 GC battle

So Faulkner is a GC contender in herself, which makes things easier to work out. But where do the likes of Annemiek van Vleuten and Marta Cavalli stack in comparison? The sprinters are going to have their fun in the early part of the 2022 Giro Donne but each day will be a potential stumbling block for GC riders. Any badly timed mechanical or poor positioning when an unexpected attack gains distance could be race-defining for them. In previous years, the Giro Donne started with a team time trial which borderline decided the GC on Stage 1, normally in favour of Boels-Dolmans/SD Worx in recent years.

Annemiek van Vleuten. 2022 Giro Donne. Stage 1
(Photo Credit: Sprint Cycling Agency)

Unofficial Giro Donne 2022 GC ranking

RankRiderTeamTime gap
1Kristen FaulknerBikeExchange-JaycoLeader
2Elisa Longo BorghiniTrek-Segafredo+9″
3Annemiek van VleutenMovistar+10″
4Juliette LabousTeam DSM+16″
5Marta CavalliFDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope+19″
6Cecilie Uttrup LudwigFDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope+22″
7Amanda SprattBikeExchange-Jayco+23″
8Mavi GarciaUAE Team ADQ+24″
9Soraya PaladinCanyon SRAM+25″
10Mikayla HarveyCanyon SRAM+26″
11Elise ChabbeyCanyon SRAM+30″
12Olivia BarilValcar-Travel & Service+30″
13Niamh Fisher-BlackSD Worx+31″
14Evita MuzicFDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope+32″
15Erica MagnaldiUAE Team ADQ+36″
16Krista Doebel-HickokEF Education-TIBCO-SVB+44″
17Paula PatinoMovistar+48″
18Clara KoppenburgCofidis+50″
19Gaia RealiniIsolmant-Premac-Vittoria+1’00”
Kristen Faulker in the first Maglia Rosa of the 2022 Giro Donne

Now this list will probably adapt and change over the next few stages. For instance, maybe not all 3 Canyon SRAM riders will be in contention anymore but all of them have finished in the Giro Donne top-10 previously. As you can see though, the biggest losers from the opening time trial were Cofidis’ Clara Koppenburg and Isolmant’s Gaia Realini. Both results were to be expected and hopefully, it gives both riders a chance to attack to claim the time back but it’s probably the end of any realistic podium ambitions.

Another interesting thing to note from yesterday was that Marta Cavalli was one of the few serious GC contenders to start their rider late on. The conditions worsened with the wind really picking up. That means FDJ effectively shipped some time just to have a traditional TT start list with their leader going off last. Cavalli probably wouldn’t have got close to Faulkner’s amazing time but she would’ve been closer to the likes of Van Vleuten. Losing 9 avoidable seconds to the Dutch GC star isn’t a great way to start the Giro Donne.