At 170km in length, stage four covered a distance 10 km longer than the recommended UCI maximum for Women’s WorldTour stages. After the start in Assisi, the first 70km of the race was fairly flat before the riders took on a category 3 climb in Arrone which featured some steep ramps with gradients of up to 12 per cent. Afterwards, the route continued rising continuously towards the finish line in Tivoli. Altogether 2,200m of climbing, some cobbled sections, and a narrow uphill finish had to be contested, which made for a tough day out in the saddle. After 80km of racing, Lizzy Banks was able to form a breakaway with another rider and the duo carved out a maximum advantage of almost six minutes to the peloton.
With one kilometre remaining, our British rider launched a decisive attack and in the end she was rewarded with the win, a great achievement in a world-class field at this year’s Giro Rosa. Her win today is her second at the prestigious Italian stage race, after she became a Giro stage winner at last year’s edition of the race. Her teammate Mikayla Harvey also took 11th place and with that, retained the young rider’s jersey.
Lizzy tells us about the stage: “The long stage provided us with another good challenge. We had done a good course recon, and looked at the route and where the best place to attack would be. We knew we had to go early and I tried several times, and then eventually I succeeded and got away with another strong rider. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but the gap kept growing and the time went out to 6 minutes and so we kept pushing. I was thinking the entire time about how I could win the stage. I decided to attack on a steep part and once I had the gap, all I had to do was to push through until the line. I was determined to win, and I did it. It was a special stage for us, as we passed the place where our team owner was born and where he spends his summer holidays. It was an amazing day in the saddle, and I’m happy to have finished it off like this.“
Team Owner Thomas Camapana praised the team’s achievement after today’s stage: „We are progressing so well in this Giro and the riders are become better and better as the race goes on. We had a bit of a difficult start, as we had to make some roster changes that were not part of our original plan. However, the team here, especially the younger riders, have shown that they can take over, and they performed very well today, on such a hard and long stage of 180km in length. With temperatures of over 34 degrees, it was certainly not easy and I have to hand it to them – they rode extremely well under these circumstances and full compliments go to the team for what they have achieved today. It was a truly remarkable achievement.
Our journey in this race continues and we’ll see where it takes us. Sincere congratulations to Lizzy, who rode a very strong race today to take the win, it’s a very well-deserved accomplishment for her, and everyone in the team couldn’t be prouder of the way she rode the stage. It’s a particularly nice way to end the day, which has turned out being quite a special one, because on the way from Assisi to Tivoli, the race passed by the house where my father was born in Campello. That was a great motivation, and to have the team win in front my family on my Italian side was very special.”