It was the second change of hands for the maglia rosa in less than 24 hours after former race leader and road world champion Annemiek van Vleuten (MTS) was forced to withdraw with a broken wrist after a crash yesterday. The maglia rosa was passed to then second on the general classification, Kasia.
“It wasn’t the perfect way to overtake the pink jersey but that’s also bike racing and everything can happen. I was disappointed for Annemiek, but I was happy to respect the jersey and wear it today,” said Kasia after today’s stage.
With several kilometres of cross winds in the first half of the race, the peloton quickly split into many groups, before coming back together with around 55km to race. A 9-rider breakaway was caught at the base of the final climb into San Marco la Catola.
“The stage went by really fast as there was so much going on. You were fighting for the wheel in the echelons and then we were up and over the climb mid-race and on to a long descent. We were in a good position as we had numbers in the front group so I’m thankful for my team for that,” explained Kasia.
“When we hit the super steep final climb. We started fast and then just after a short plateau, Anna van der Breggen attacked and I couldn’t go with. I went my own speed and tried not to lose too much time. I’m actually happy with the stage. I did my best, the team did well, so getting sixth and moving back into second place on GC isn’t anything to be upset about.”
The general classification now stands with van der Breggen in the maglia rosa, Kasia Niewiadoma second with 1 minute and 10 seconds, and Longo Borghini at 2 minutes 23 seconds in third.
“I feel good for the final stage tomorrow,” said Kasia.
“I think this is my first Giro Rosa where I’m actually enjoying it until the end. I don’t feel like I’m pushing to do something that I can’t achieve. It just feels right to be here racing well with the team, and we’re all understand each other very well. Being on the podium would be a win in itself so I hope that I can keep that position until the end tomorrow. I never came here dreaming to go for the maglia rosa, somehow I wasn’t confident to do it. So with the performances we’ve had until now, it makes me want to come back here in one or two years and actually aim for the victory,” explained Kasia.
The final stage of the 2020 Giro Rosa will be a four-lap circuit around Motta Montecorvino and is expected to be another chance for the GC contenders to show their strength.
The live race action can be followed on Twitter with #UCIWWT and #GiroRosa, with daily highlights on RAI TV, NOS, GCN app, Flobikes and Eurosport.