Lotte Kopecky takes stage 5 victory at Giro d’Italia Women

Lotte Kopecky secured her first victory in this year’s Giro d’Italia Women, triumphing in the sprint finish in Foligno. She outpaced Chiara Consonni and Arlenis Sierra, capping off a dominant performance by her SD Worx-Protime team.

Covering 108km between Frontone and Foligno, the stage featured only one classified climb early on but presented a challenging course with its rolling terrain. In the sweltering heat, early breakaway attempts were neutralised as the peloton remained together. Justine Ghekiere claimed the QOM points in Morello, while Clara Emond further secured her lead in the mountain classification.

Cristina Tonetti was the first to make a significant move, attacking with 87km to go, but her effort was reeled in 14km later. Subsequent breakaways by Alessia Vigilia, Jelena Erić, and Nora Jenčušová were also unsuccessful, with Vigilia’s attempt building a 31-second gap before being caught after five kilometres.

Silvia Zanardi then won the intermediate sprint in Sigillo before Tota Magalhães launched an attack with 45km remaining. The Brazilian rider quickly gained a 40-second lead, but Marta Jaskulska’s counter-attack 10km later saw her overtake Magalhães. Jaskulska held off the peloton for a considerable distance but was eventually caught with 7.8km to go.

In the technical final kilometres, Silvia Zanardi was the only rider to crash, going down in one of the roundabouts. At the flamme rouge, EF-Oatly-Cannondale led the peloton, with Ceratizit-WNT taking over shortly after. SD Worx-Protime positioned themselves well, and Cecchini’s acceleration brought Guarischi and Kopecky to the front into the final corner. Guarischi’s lead-out saw a gap open behind Kopecky in the corner as UAE Team ADQ couldn’t keep up, which allowed Kopecky to win the sprint comfortably by several bike lengths and move to within 3 seconds of GC leader Longo Borghini.

Post-Stage reactions

After the race, Kopecky praised her team for their support and coordination. “The final was very hectic, a lot of roundabouts, very high speed, but I had amazing teammates the whole day, especially in the final, who kept me in perfect position,” Kopecky said. “I think it was one of the best lead-outs I’ve ever had, just perfect timing. Elena Cecchini went with 500 metres to go, and Barbara took the final corner. I just started sprinting, and when I passed her, she already said ‘yes’, it was really nice.”

The victory also saw Kopecky close the gap in the general classification, now just three seconds behind Elisa Longo Borghini. Additionally, Kopecky extended her lead in the points classification to 43 points over Consonni, expressing confidence in maintaining the red points jersey. “It’s a nice advantage already with only three stages to go, which are pretty hard where I think I have the better of Consonni, so I think it would be nice to keep it,” she noted.

The day wasn’t without its challenges for other teams. Team Visma | Lease a Bike Women faced setbacks with Cadel Evans Road Race winner Rosita Reijnhout unable to start due to injuries from a previous crash, and Fem van Empel abandoning after a crash early in the stage.

2024 Giro d’Italia Women Stage 4 result

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All photo credits: La Presse

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