Juliette Labous 7th on Stage 8 at Giro Donne

Juliette Labous 7th on Stage 8 at Giro Donne

Labous was once again in the mix at the front of the race in the mountains of the Giro Donne on stage 8, making the select front group of favourites behind the breakaway before finishing seventh.

The day featured two mountain ascents, the first of which saw the race split behind the early breakaway, forming a select group of nearly 20 riders, including Labous. In the valley road between the two mountains, this group split, forcing the pace further and seeing the gap drop to the lone leader left at the front of the race.

This chase group eventually came back together before the foot of the final ascent of the Lago di Cei, commencing with just over 20 kilometres to race. On the lower slopes the group splintered with each rider fighting and pacing their way to the top. The overall race leader Van Vleuten moved at the front of the race and, having caught the lone leader, moved clear to take the stage while behind Labous came over the line in a small group racing for fifth place.

As a result of two strong days in the mountains, Labous moves up to ninth overall on GC.

After finish, Labous said: “Today was a tough day with a very fast start. Franzi followed a lot of attacks to try to get away but nothing went clear. The girls, and especially Charlotte, did a perfect job positioning me for the first climb.

“On the climb the pace was not super high, only on the top and I felt good. In the downhill I got away with a few others which was nice, then it all came back together but it was better to be in front than in the chasing group.

“On the final climb it was full gas from the bottom and I felt that I wasn’t so fresh anymore so I did my best to pace myself. I’m happy with a top 10 today and am curious to see how tomorrow will go!”

Team DSM coach Huub Duijn also commented after the stage: “It was a hard day at the Giro today! Our goal was to position Juliette for the first climb, before then looking to anticipate the moves in the final to go for another stage.

“The positioning went very well, and Juliette was in the favourites group of about 20 riders going over the first climb. In the downhill she got a nice gap with eight riders, but FDJ chased the move down towards the last climb. On the climb Van Vleuten went full gas and the whole group exploded. Juliette fought right until the top and showed great grinta after yesterday’s stage win, coming in seventh at the end.”