At the halfway point of the Giro Rosa, the hilly 122 km course* around the lakes of northern Italy finally produced a shuffle up in the General Classification standings.
Only 10 km into the race a large break of 12 rode clear of the main peloton. Despite most teams being represented in the lead group, the peloton kept them within a controlled distance. The group was up the road for 60 km, but the gap went out to 1’26” before it was closed down.
With 38 km left to race the bunch hit the base of the day’s major climb, 6 km at an average of 7%. Here the peloton stretched out as it neared the GPM with a reduced group of 35 riders cresting the top together. This is where Ruth Winder (TeamSunWeb) made her winning move, attacking the tired bunch. Only Taylor Wiles (Trek-Drops) and Alice Arzuffi (Bizkaia) were able to follow her to form the successful break.
The three riders we’re able to stay clear of the chasing group as they worked together along the mainly downhill run into the finish.
“I didn’t expect it to stay away, but then I was joined by some really strong riders and we worked really well together”, said Winder.
Winder had the strongest sprint of her breakaway companions and was able to take the win.
“I knew that my sprinting ability was pretty good at the moment and I knew the finish… I’m really happy with the day and I can’t quite believe it to be honest”, she said after the race.
Winder also moves into first on the General Classification, further extending TeamSunWeb’s stronghold.
Three-time road world champion, Marianne Vos (WaowDeals) won the bunch kick to take 4th behind the breakaway.
Despite the 1,700m of climbing the pace was high with the peloton averaging 40 km/h.
Australian Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) maintains her 4th position in the General Classification, closely followed by her teammate Annemiek Van Vlueten in 5th.
PHOTOS: The team kept themselves safe and in contention after the first hilly stage. @AmandaSpratt finished the day in 8th place & moved up a place to 4th just in time for the coming hard hilly stages #GiroRosa— Mitchelton-SCOTT (@MitcheltonSCOTT) July 10, 2018
Album: https://t.co/o7d0fprg79 - @GettyImages pic.twitter.com/NrEDGhzluJ
*The original 117.7 km course was altered, removing some climbs from the second half of the race and increasing the length.
Stage: Ruth Winder (SunWeb)
General classification: Ruth Winder (SunWeb)
Points classification: Kirsten Wild (Wiggle High5)
Mountain classification: Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5)
Youth classification: Sofia Bertizzolo (Astana)
Teams classification: Team Sunweb
Stage 6 preview
Wednesday’s 112 km course is one of the more decisive stages of the tour. The race will begin in Sovico and run north along the shores of Lago Maggiore before turning inland. The stage will be mostly flat until the peloton arrives in Morbegno, from where it will climb 15 km at an average of 5.4% to the finish line.
This uphill finish is likely to see one of the peloton’s top climbers take victory. It may be a day for Amanda Spratt, Annemiek Van Vlueten, Kasia Niewiadoma or Megan Guarnier.