Juliette Labous climbs to stage victory at Giro Donne

Juliette Labous climbs to stage victory at Giro Donne

Having gone clear in the day’s early break of 14 riders, Labous helped pace the escape’s gap to up to nine minutes at one point before the chase picked up behind. Heading towards the final climb to the finish, the long Passo del Maniva over 10 kilometres at 8.1% average gradient, the gap had dropped down to around four minutes.

As soon as the climbing started the front group splintered and Labous soon found herself with initially two others before then riding away solo. Her advantage over the GC favourites behind dropped to just under two minutes with half the climb to go but she maintained her advantage right to the line, pacing the climb perfectly to take a beautiful stage victory.

After the stage, Juliette Labous said: “It was really hard on the final climb and I was a bit scared as the gap was going down fast so we had to go full from the bottom. I saw that I was probably the strongest and decided to take my own pace and go as hard as I could. I will try to go for another win on the next days but maybe tomorrow I will be a bit tired. For now though, I’m just so happy with the win today.”

Team DSM coach Huub Duijn added: “It’s really nice when a plan comes together. Our goal was to get Juliette in the break today and from there try and win the stage. And that’s exactly what happened.

“After 15 kilometres and an attacking start, all the girls committed to make an aggressive race where we help getting Juliette in a break. Eventually the 14 went away and got a big gap of nearly 10 minutes maximum.

“Towards the final climb of 10 kilometres the gap started dropping fast and that’s when Juliette went solo in front.

“She held a really impressive pace to keep the GC favourites at two minutes, riding to a great solo victory.