After a delayed start, the 135 riders in this year’s Giro Rosa headed out from Civitella Paganico to Arcidosso on a challenging 124km long course with a lumpy profile. The course featured over 3,000m of climbing, including a steep ascent to Seggiano which came 11km ahead of the finish. The route also contained two stretches of the white gravel roads of Strade Bianche, the first at 14.5km and the second at 108km, making this stage even more challenging. After the first downhill section, gaps already appeared in the field, indicating that the stage would be far from easy. At the intermediate sprint, Emma Norsgaard Jorgensen, wearer of the white young rider’s jersey, took maximum points. It was then not until 55km that some attacks were launched and Elise Chabbey and Lizzy Banks rose particularly aggressively in the last part of the stage. A small group of riders, including Elise as well as Mikayla, took on the steep final climb ahead of the field, with van Vleuten taking the win and Mikayla Harvey finishing in a solid seventh place, a result that also earned her the white jersey for the best young rider.
After the stage, Mikayla summarised: “It was a super hard stage today. I was surrounded by so many amazing teammates and our goal was to fight to hold onto the young rider’s jersey and everyone in the team did an incredible job to achieve that. They set me up nicely for the final gravel section where the field was torn to pieces. They led me out and Elise helped to keep me up in the first few positions. I managed to get over the top with Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio and Mavi Garcia. Thomas, our team owner, was encouraging me from the race car to keep fighting. I was rarely motivated, and finished in seventh in the end, the best result that I’ve ever had in such a race. This result would not have been possible without the support of everyone around me. I am very excited about the coming days here it. It will be a huge battle, but I am ready for it.”
Team Owner Thomas Campana praised the efforts of the team after the stage: “This was a very hard stage with more than 3,000m of elevation. The course went up and down all day and the team had to ride not only on a challenging parcours, but they also had to cope with the hot weather. They are still quite a young team and they had a hard time trial yesterday. Emma went through the climbs successfully and took some sprint points. At the end of the day, we found ourselves in a good position, with two riders finishing in the top 11 on the stage, which is outstanding, especially with the difficult situation Elise was facing, having been involved in a crash. Mikayla’s performance was incredible – she took on world-class riders like Garcia and Moolmann-Pasio, and was able to be right up there. For a 22-year-old rider, she possesses such mature qualities and racing style. All the team’s riders are performing well, and they are very motivated to achieve more and develop their potential. The team spirit is very good here, and the team is very deserving of coming away from the stage with the best young rider’s jersey.”