The biggest men’s road race of the season – the Tour de France – may be underway in France (albeit rather chaotically), but let’s not forget about the biggest race of the pro women’s calendar taking place over in Italy – the 24th edition of the Giro Rosa.
The top names names in women’s road racing were stretching their legs yesterday as Stage 1 of the hotly anticipated Giro Rosa got underway. As it’s the only event in the women’s calendar the UCI allow to run over a week, it’s a huge race for the riders both in terms of length and prestige.
Stage 1: Sunday, June 30 2013
Giovinazzo – Margherita di Savoia, 117.8km
Kirsten Wild (Dutch National Team) managed to narrowly out sprint Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/giant) to win the first stage of the 2013 Giro Rosa.
The two Dutch nationals battled it out on the final sprint for a photo finish. Although Wild took the stage win, it was Vos who – after winning both the intermediate sprints of the stage – became the first rider to wear the famed maglia rosa jersey of this year’s race.
You can’t understand how happy I am! I’m back from one month off racing because I injured my left collarbone, and I’m really satisfied with this good result. I couldn’t ask more of myself!
Kirsten Wild (Dutch National Team) on winning Stage 1 of Giro Rosa 2013
The unstoppable Marianne Vos, who’s won the past two editions of the Giro Rosa, proudly commented:
I missed out by an inch, but I’m proud to don the maglia rosa again. We are only at the beginning of the race, I’m getting in shape, so I hope to maintain the jersey until the very end in Cremona.
With a real buzz of excitement in the air, the 160 rider peloton set off from Giovinazzo, on the heel of southern Italy, to tackle a 117.8km course.
One of two stages in this years’ eight-stage race designed for pure sprinters, stage 1 with its flat profile was always going to end in a bunch sprint.
Stage 1 ran along the coast in the southern province of Puglia, from Giovinazzo to Margherita di Savoia, before tackling two 15km laps prior to finishing on the sea-front.
It was a beautiful day, hot and fresh, with enthusiastic crowds lining the roads and the towns wreathed in pink, in honour of the race. After a small climb at the start, the rest was flat all the way. However, wide roads and winds coming off the sea made it difficult for anyone to escape – especially with the sprint teams controlling the race.
Marianne Vos put down her marker early on in the race, attacking for the 3 seconds of time bonuses that come with each intermediate sprint. She won the first sprint ahead of the Hitec Products UCK pair of first-time Giro riders, Julie Leth and Cecilie Gotaas Johnsen, and the second ahead of Adrie Visser (Boels Dolmans) and Aizhan Zhaparova (RusVelo), with her team, Rabobank-Liv/giant, racing perfectly.
Once the peloton hit the small 15km finishing laps, problems began. A crash on the first lap took of ORICA-AIS’ Sungeun Gu out of the race – and then a spate of punctures on the second lap meant that Giorgia Bronzini and her team were out of contention, with other riders caught up by crashes.
The rest of the peloton, however, were more than ready, forming their sprint trains, ready for the final kilometre.
Last kilometre of Stage 1
The finishing straight was perfect for a bunch sprint, and two riders were clearly ahead – Marianne Vos and Kirsten Wild. Wild demonstrated that she was back to her full power, making the win look easy, with Vos in second place and Cipollini-Giordana‘s Marta Tagliaferro in third.
The riders received a fantastic welcome from fans as they crossed the finish line in Puglia. Hopefully this support will remain throughout the whole race.
Stage 1 points classifications:
- Kirsten Wild (Dutch National Team) 2hr53’55” (15 points)
- Marianne Vos (Rabobank) s.t. (12 points)
- Marta Tagliaferro (MCipollini Giordana) s.t. (10 points)
- Janeliunate Edita (Pasta zara – cogeas) s.t. (8 points)
- Kozonchuk Oxana (Rusvelo) s.t. (6 points)
- Annemiek Van Vlueten (Rabobank) s.t. (5 points)
- Shelly Olds (Tibco – To The Top) s.t. (4 points)
- Lauren Hall (USA National Team) s.t. (3 points)
- Lauren Kitchen (Wiggle-Honda) s.t. (2 points)
- Anna Trevisi (Vaiano Fondriest) s.t. (1 points)
General classifications after Stage 1:
- Marianne Vos (Rabobank) 2h53’43”
- Kirsten Wild (Dutch National Team) +2″
- Marta Tagliaferro (MCipollini Giordana) +8″
- Adrie Visser (Boels Dolmans) +10″
- Julie Leth (Hitech Products) +10″
Jerseys wearer’s after Stage 1:
- Maglia Rosa (General classifications)
Marianne Vos (Rabobank)
- Purple Jersey (Points classification)
Kirsten Wild (Dutch National Team)
- White Jersey (Youth classification)
Julie Leth (Hitech Products UCK)
- Green Jersey (Queen of the Mountains)
Valentina Scandolara (MCipollini-Giordana)
- Blue Jersey (Best Italian rider)
Marta Tagliaferro (MCipollini-Giordana)
Sarah has also created a ‘How to: Follow the Giro Rosa‘ guide, for anyone who wants more information about where and how to watch the race!