Today’s Giro stage had us cursing ourselves for not studying Italian at GCSE or beyond. Live Tweeting of the event was a little tricky to follow without a good grasp of the language – but we just about managed to decipher the chain of events thanks to a selection of race supporters and crew down on the ground in Italy.
The headline of the day is that Boels-Dolmans got the Pink jersey back from Wiggle High5.
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After Megan Guarnier wore pink after stage one, and team mate Evelyn Stevens ruled the roost after stages 2, 3 and 4, it was no doubt a shock to the system when Mara Abbott (Wiggle High5) launched an incredible attack to stay away and build up a time gap over 2 minutes on stage 5 – giving her a 10 second GC lead over Guarnier, whilst Stevens sunk back to 6 place.
Abbott has won two Giro Rosa Overall titles before, so she’s an obvious threat. However, Boels-Dolmans delivered a clear message today as Stevens attacked with 2km to go to take a solo win, followed by Guarnier who is now back in Pink.
The 118km race from Andora to Alassio – finishing atop of the Madonna della Guardia – began with a large group breaking from the main peloton. However, on the second key climb of the day Kasia Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) attacked solo – building up quite a lead that stuck until the next climb.
Eventually Mara Abbott and Stevens bridged to join Niewiadoma – but they were soon joined by reinforcements, including Megan Guanier and Karol-Ann Canuel – creating a small and select group of 11 in total – with a clear dominance in numbers from Boels.
That group later dropped down to reduce in size. With 5km to go, there was just Abbott, Anna van der Breggen (Rabo Liv) Guarnier, Stevens, Claudia Lichtenberg (Lotto Soudal) and Tatiana Guderzo (Hitec Products).
Just before the 2km mark, van der Breggen attacked, but was caught – and whilst the others recovered, Stevens launched her own offence. An expert at uphill finishes such as this, she broke clear from the group, crossing the in first place to take another stage win. Six seconds behind her was Guarnier, with van der Breggen 19 seconds back in third.
The new General Classification top three, with three days left of racing, is as follows:
- Megan Guarnier
- Mara Abbott (+46)
- Evelyn Stevens (+1.03)
Check out the gallery of pictures from our friends at Velofocus below…