A 109 kilometre route lay ahead of the peloton this afternoon, with a lap circuit around Puegnago Del Garda the main challenge of the day and a punchy climb up to the line. It was a fast start to the stage before a breakaway duo managed to escape the peloton, building up an advantage of around one minute.
However, after an increase in pace by the peloton they were caught and one rider, Brand, hit out alone at the front of the race. Although despite the gap reaching over one minute and 30 seconds, Brand was caught inside 25 kilometres to go as more attacks flew from the bunch.
The team were well positioned going onto the penultimate climb to the line, riding well together as a unit. As other squads increasing the tempo, the bunch thinned down with Juliette Labous, Liane Lippert, Coryn Rivera and Lorena Wiebes making the reduced front group. Proceedings became cagey and a chasing group, featuring Floortje Mackaij, returned to the front of the race. Mackaij then went straight to the front and helped position the team as the race charged towards the final climb.
From the bottom an infernal pace was set, with Longo Borghini and Vos attacking at one kilometre to go. Rivera dug deep and tried her best to respond, but just couldn’t make contact with their back wheels as the ever reducing peloton caught her from behind at 400 metres left. Labous followed those in front of her well, fighting all the way to the line on the punchy finale to claim a good sixth place at the end of the stage, leading the team home and finishing alongside the other GC contenders.
“It was a special day with a technical circuit and a fast punchy climb in it,” explained Labous at the finish. “We were in control the whole race. Lorena felt good so we wanted to go for her on the final climb, and there I had to follow the other riders to the finish. Longo Borghini and Vos attacked really strongly and Coryn went with them, but unfortunately the speed was really high and Coryn dropped from them and Lorena wasn’t able to follow in the bunch. I just went all in to the finish and took sixth place. Personally I’m pleased with the performance because it was a very punchy finish, which is not usually a type of climb that suits me. We’re ready for another sprint day and another chance for us tomorrow, before the mountain top finish on stage nine which I’m personally really looking forward to, too!”
Team DSM coach Albert Timmer added: “It was a hard day in the saddle today and we did a good race. We were on the attack and covered the moves in the finale, so we can definitely say we did race as well today. In the final, Coryn was really close to following the front two but she just exploded a bit on the climb. With Juliette pushing to the line though and finishing in sixth place, we once again had someone finish in the top ten on the stage, which is nice.”
Stage General classification Points classification Youth classification Mountains classification
|1||VOS Marianne||Team Jumbo-Visma Women||2:48:31||25|
|2||LONGO BORGHINI Elisa||Trek-Segafredo Women||,,||20|
|3||VAN DER BREGGEN Anna||SD Worx||,,||15|