The Rabo Liv team reigned supreme at the third stage of the Giro Rosa today with Annemiek van Vleuten crossing the line in first place. Also the winner of the prologue, van Vleuten left little doubt in anybody's mind today that she meant business as she won the stage pretty convincingly with a 10 second lead.
Starting in Caserta, 147 riders lined up to take on the 125km stage of the Giro Rosa which finished in San Donato Val di Comino.
The real race got underway after 40 km when a break group of 15 took the head of the race: Doris Schweizer (Astana BePink), Elena Berlato and Shelley Olds (Alè Cipollini Galassia), Julie Leth (Hitec Product), Tiffay Cromwell (Specialized Lululemon), Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda), Loes Gunnewjk and Valentina Scandolara (Orica AIS), Sarah Rijkes (Lotto Belisol), Sara Mustonen (Giant Shimano), Oxana Kozonchuk (Rusvelo), Yulia Ilinykh (Bizkaia Durango), Marieke Van Wanroij (Boels Dolmans), Edita Janeliunaite (Forno d’Asolo Astute) and the Giro first Maglia Rosa Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabo Liv).
The leaders managed to hold their gap, with a maximum of almost 2 minutes. After 86 km, the first climb of day: Valentina Scandolara was the first to the top and seizing the Green Jersey (best climber).
With less than 10 km to go, the Japanese National Champion Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle Honda) found herself in the front group, which, in the meanwhile, had dropped to six: Doris Schweizer, Elena Berlato, Tiffay Cromwell, Annemiek van Vleuten and Valentina Scandolara.
In the final metres, Annemiek van Vleuten outsprinted her breakaway companions and escaped for a solo victory. Behind her, the Italian Elena Berlato at 10 seconds and Mayuko Hagiwara. Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv), finished fifth but still holds on to the Pink Jersey.
Tomorrow, the 118 km long Stage 4 runs from Alba Adriatica (TE) to Jesi (AN).
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) km 125,300 in 3:20'50'' at the average of 37,434 km/h
2. Elena Berlato (Alè Cipollini Galassia) at 10''
3. Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle Honda) at 16''
4. Doris Schweizer (Astana BePink) at 20''
5. Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) at 21''
1. Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team)
2. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) at 21’’
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products) at 29''
4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team) at 1'41''
5. Emma Johansson (Orica AIS) at 1'50''
PINK Derma Fresh, General Classification: Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv)
CYCLAMEN SMP Selle, Points Classification: Marianne Vos (Rabo Liv)
GREEN BIM, Best Climber Classification: Valentina Scandolara (Orica AIS)
WHITE Saugella, Best Young Classification: Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabo Liv Women)
BLUE Dama, Best Italian Classification: Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products)