Giro Donne (Stage 8)
Despite a fall on the descent of Lago di Cei (2nd) when she was riding in the lead with less than 10 km to go, the Movistar Team Olympic champion prevails with a 1′ advantage over Cavalli (UAD) and increases to more than two minutes his overall lead with just two days to go.
With the breed of great champions… and with some unwanted emotion. Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar Team) widened her lead as the Giro Donne 2022 Pink Maglia by winning almost a minute ahead in Aldeno, after a beautiful 8th stage in the Dolomites (104 km) with the climbs to Passo Bordala (2nd) and Lago di Cei (2nd).
A brilliant approach by Jelena Erić on the last of those ascents allowed ‘Miek’ to unleash her irresistible attacking pace and lead a tough fight with Marta Cavalli (FDJ), whom she kept at bay until she was definitively left behind in the final stretch of the ascent. , very off the hook García (UAD). However, a fall in the descent -with only minor scratches as a result- added emotion, and fright, to the Movistar Team’s 16th success in 2022.
2’13 »of margin, and two days, separate the Olympic champion from an enormous joy for which she will still have to fight hard. This Saturday, the last mountainous round, with the queen stage of Fai della Paganella (2nd), Duron (2nd) and the terrible Daone (Special) on the way to San Lorenzo Dorsino (113 km).
Comments / Annemiek van Vleuten:
“This stage I had marked for a long time. After yesterday’s stage, in which the breakaway went ahead, I had marked today’s as an opportunity to attack and go to the maximum, because you never know when you are going to have these opportunities. Fighting in scenarios like this, with beautiful courses and races as attractive as this one, always motivates you a little more.
My partner Jelena Erić has made an incredible approach, 1km flat out from the start of the climb. When you see someone sacrifice themselves like that for you, you feel those nerves, that anticipation that you know you have to give it your all. It was clear to me that I could start from there, for all the training I have done in this time and because every day my body recovers well. Every day I wake up wanting to continue fighting, and I feel the same for tomorrow. I also want to highlight the work of Aude Biannic and Emma Norsgaard in the most complicated areas; They have been able to keep me calm and that has helped with the climbs.
Cavalli has been very strong today. She was always between six and ten seconds apart, but she knew she had to keep pushing without looking back. I knew that those 10 km of climb were working in my favour, and with three or four to go is when I started to open up the difference.
The fall has been stupid and unnecessary. I know my mum, Ria, was watching the race on TV, so: sorry, mum. (laughs) In any case, I’m fine. The girl feels good.”