World champion Annemiek van Vleuten made it safely through today’s hot and fast stage five of the Giro Rosa to retain the overall race lead.
The day came down to the first bunch sprint of the race, with Mitchelton-SCOTT guiding the maglia rosa through the 110km stage around Terracina.
Hot and Fast
It was a fast and attacking start to the stage, with several riders jumping out of the peloton in the opening kilometres. Two riders eventually managed to put some distance between themselves and the pack, but the day’s first climb spelled the end for their time out front.
The ascent at Madonna della Civita also saw the bunch split, with around 50 riders unable to go with the pace set at the head of the field. CCC-Liv pushed the tempo as they looked to rid the peloton of the pure sprinters in the field.
Some attacks followed the descent of the climb, but nobody could get away until Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) slipped away over the top of the final ramp before the finish.
The former maglia rosa wearer pushed on down the descent as the race headed back into Terracina, but the chasing group were never more than 20 seconds behind, with Australian champion Amanda Spratt and Van Vleuten at the head of affairs.
Longo Borghini was eventually caught inside the final three kilometres, with the day set to end in a reduced bunch sprint. Stage three winner Marianne Vos (CCC Liv) was the fastest yet again as she sprinted to her second win, while Van Vleuten crossed the line safely in the bunch to retain her race lead.
Annemiek van Vleuten:
“I think it was a really good recovery day for me, it was quite easy, I never got into trouble. The goal today was to not lose time and not expend energy, and we nailed those two goals.
“It was quite nice to see the girls around me all the time, and it was a good recovery day before the stages get harder again later this week.”
“It was kind of as we expected it, it was either going to be bunch kick or we thought a team like CCC-Liv might really light it up on the climbs to get rid of the pure sprinters, which actually we were fine with as well.
“After that it was quite an aggressive race and we had a sharp climb at kilometre 83 and Longo Borghini attacked there and that stretched out the group, luckily we had Annemiek and I in the group behind. Then after that it was just about looking after Annemiek and getting into the finish nice and safely.”
Giro Rosa 2020 Stage 5 – Results:
1. Marianne Vos (CCC Liv) 2:47:22
2. Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal Ladies) ST
3. Elizabeth Deignan (Trek-Segafredo) ST
28. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) ST
Giro Rosa 2020 – General Classification after Stage 5:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 15:23:00
2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon SRAM) +1:56
3. Anna van der Breggen (Boels – Dolmans) +2:03
Photo courtesy of Getty Images.