Lara Gillespie celebrates birthday with back-to-back wins at Giro Mediterraneo in Rosa

Lara Gillespie secured a consecutive victory at the Giro Mediterraneo in Rosa, storming to a triumphant win in the third stage of the race. The Irish national champion, who celebrated her 23rd birthday today, dazzled with a superb sprint finish, bolstered by an impeccable team effort. Gillespie’s teammate, Karolina Kumiega of UAE Team ADQ, took a commendable second place, with Federica Venturelli finishing fourth.

“This is the best birthday present ever,” Gillespie beamed after her victory. “Today we executed the plan perfectly. My teammates were phenomenal, controlling the race all day and setting me up flawlessly for the final sprint. I couldn’t be prouder of them.”

The race unfolded without much drama as the UAE Development Team dominated the proceedings. Their strategic control prevented any successful breakaway attempts, with Kunz, Pellegrini, Piergiovanni, and Venturelli maintaining a high pace at the front of the peloton. The final sprint was a showcase of Gillespie’s superiority, underlined by the perfect leadout from her team.

Karolina Kumiega, who finished 2nd, also shared her satisfaction with the team’s performance. “It was a great day for us. The teamwork was perfect, and it’s thrilling to see our plan come together so well,” she said.

The sports directors of the UAE Development Team, Davide Gani and Giuseppe Lanzoni, expressed their contentment with the team’s performance and their growth throughout the race. “Being the favourite can sometimes lead to distractions and risks, but we’re delighted with the girls’ growth. In the upcoming stages, which feature some climbs, defending Lara’s lead won’t be easy, but we are committed to winning,” they explained.

The race, which has now moved to Puglia and will conclude on Tuesday in Barletta, was a straightforward affair for much of its duration. The initial part saw an attack from Afghan cyclist Fariba Hashimi, who led over the first categorised climb in Spinazzola. However, her effort gradually waned and she was reeled back by the peloton, which remained compact until the final sprint.

Gillespie’s consecutive stage wins after also winning yesterday’s stage have solidified her position as the race leader, and she also leads the points classification. Her teammate, Federica Venturelli, holds the white jersey as the best young rider, while Elisa Valtulini (Bepink-Bongioanni) wears the green jersey as the queen of the mountains.

2024 Giro Mediterraneo in Rosa Stage 3 result

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