The unstoppable Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/giant) takes a second stage victory in the 2013 Giro Rosa, tightening her hold on the maglia rosa. Joining Vos on the podium for Stage 4 was Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) and Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto-Belisol) both 3 seconds behind the Dutch champion.
Yesterday’s Stage 4 was the longest of the race at 137km – longer than the UCIs usual limit for stages. Starting in Monte San Vito, the women raced over rolling terrain around Ancona before attacking a final short, sharp ascent to the finish line. Overall, it was a fast day of racing, apart from when the entire field had to come to a stop, 40kms in, to allow a train to pass.
Stage 4 results: Order of arrival
- Marianne Vos (Rabobank) 3hr14'28"
- Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) 3"
- Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto Belisol) 3"
- Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini Giordana) 3"
- Claudia Hausler (Tibco To The Top) 7"
- Anna Van der Breggen (Dutch National Team) 9"
- Fabiana Luperini (Faren Kuota) 18"
- Francesca Cauz (Top Girls Fasso Bortolo) 20"
- Tiffany Cromwell (Orica Ais) 20"
- Mara Abbot (USA National Team) 22"
Although there were countless attempts to form a breakaway throughout the day, both Rabobank-Liv/Giant and Specialized-lululemon teams kept a firm hand on the peloton, controlling the front and chasing down any escapees. That's not to say there weren't riders and teams trying - with Valentina Bastianelli and Amanda Spratt giving it a go, among others - but with the headwinds helping the peloton rather than the escapees, everything was reeled in, and it became clear that the stage would come down to the final climb.
The peloton started organising into sprint trains as every team raced to reach the bottom of the climb first - and then they were off. Evelyn Stevens and Marianne Vos were delivered into the perfect positions by their teams. Claudia Häusler, Ashleigh Moolman and Tatiana Guderzo were at the front, they raced together up the wide climb - Moolman and Stevens looking the strongest, until in the last 300 metres the road flattened out - and Vos was off, using her sprinting advantage to distance the climbers.
After the race, Vos was interviewed for the Rabosport video at the top of the post. We'd like to extend a big thank you to Anne-Marije Rook for providing the translation.
Reporter: Marianne Vos had previewed the course and knew what the finish was like, the rest [of the sprinters] started too soon and Vos was able to finish several bike lengths ahead of her competitors.
Marianne, it must be nice to sprint against your immediate competitors.
Vos: Yes, of course that’s nice. And after yesterday, I did have a good feeling of course but today was a different stage, a long stage. It was hot along the way and so it was important to be cautious, to drink enough and don’t do anything crazy. I had to dig deep yesterday so then it’s always uncertain what the next day will be like.
The last 2k were pretty steep. We luckily explored the finish yesterday so you know what it will be like and I knew I shouldn’t start too soon and that paid off today in a beautiful win.
Reporter: So what does that mean for the general classification?
Vos: Today the differences aren’t very big but I did extend my lead a little bit so that’s nice for the days to come. But now it really starts.
Reporter: So is a sprint like today about testing your legs and seeing what your competitors will do, or do you clear your mind and just go for it?
Vos: An uphill sprint is different from a normal climb. Once you get to the top, you don’t have to go on and it doesn’t matter if you’re blown. That is good for me so today was a good finish for me. It’s also nice to see the competition and how they’re doing. We’ll just have to see what the coming days will bring.
General classifications after Stage 4:
- Marianne Vos (Rabobank) 11h31'23"
- Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini Giordana) 1'31"
- Claudia Hausler (Tibco To The Top) 1'33"
- Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) 1'39"
- Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto Belisol) 1'14"
After yesterday’s stage 4, the race caravan endured a long transfer of over 500kms to reach the next stage start - Varazze. Hopefully the riders got enough rest before they tackle their first mountaintop finish of the Giro Rosa today.
At the halfway point of the Giro Rosa we’re now at the tipping point of the race. With Stage 5 and Stage 6 both mountain finishes, Vos, whose "weakness" - relatively speaking - is long, punishing climbs, will have to work hard to keep her maglia rosa.
There's a bit of a descent before today's big climb in Stage 5, which will suit Vos, but the smaller climbs in the earlier part of the race could be a problem for her. With Guderzo, Häusler, Moolman and Stevens evenly matched in general classification, today could blow the race apart. It's very exciting - and a credit to the course organisers. Although the stages are too far away for comfort, once the riders are there, the race has been set up for an exciting second half.
Jerseys wearer's after Stage 4:
- Maglia Rosa (General classifications) Marianne Vos (Rabobank)
- Purple Jersey (Points classification) Marianne Vos (Rabobank)
- White Jersey (Youth classification) Anna Van der Breggen (Dutch National Team)
- Green Jersey (Queen of the Mountains) Marianne Vos (Rabobank)
- Blue Jersey (Best Italian rider) Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana)
Total Women's Cycling would like to thank pro women's racing commentator - Sarah Connolly - for providing us with these reports from the 2013 Giro Rosa. All articles were originally posted on Podium Cafe where you can find more information about the race.
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!