Stage 4 of the 2015 Giro Rosa was the last chance for sprinters to enjoy the flat before the race hits the mountains, and it’s also the exact halfway point of the race. I caught up with three of the riders who have animated the race so far for some Q&As. Dutchwoman Lucinda Brand came second in the Prologue and again in Stage 1, wearing the maglia rosa for Stage 2, before winning from the Stage 3 breakaway… ahead of Italian Vale Scandolara, whose second place was her first ever Giro podium. Meanwhile, waiting for her chances when the race goes uphill is another Italian, Elisa Longo Borghini, who was fourth on Stage 2, and is fifth in the General Classification, just 13 seconds behind leader Megan Guarnier. All three of them very kindly answered some questions about how the Giro has been so far, and what the second half of the race could bring, with advice for first-time Giro riders thrown in…
We’re at the halfway point of the 2015 Giro Rosa, with the last flat stage before the peloton hits the mountains and the climbers come out to play. It’s still crazy-hot out there, and with one last chance for sprint glory – or for flat-loving escape artists to take their chances – it was fast and furious all the way.
Video highlights, and more below – including the full results, links to blogs, photos, tweets and things I enjoyed from today’s stage. As always I’ll keep updating this as I see more.
Here’s the sprint and the podium:
and here’s the hour-long highlights (if you don’t have a lot of time, fast forward to the last 10 minutes)
Watch the peloton take that tough right-angle corner in the final kilometre
Elena Cecchini is one of the bright crop of young Italian talents, taking a real step up this season. Leaving the Italian teams she joined Lotto-Soudal for 2015, where she’s stormed over the cobbles and through the rains of spring. After top 5 placings in some of the best Classics, and really strong riding in the Road World Cups, she took the Italian Road Championships title for the second year in a row, before starting her first Giro Rosa… and getting her first Giro podium, coming third out of the Stage 3 super-attacking breakaway. I caught up with her for a quick Q&A after the Stage, to find out
You were third in today’s Stage 3 – what happened in the race?
Today was an almost flat race around Mantova, with only 3rd category mountains GPM. We rode to help Carlee [Taylor] to keep the green jersey And we did it. After GPM, there were several attacks, and I managed to be in the right breakaway. We were a super strong breakaway, and got a 5min gap, but from the first moment I knew that we would have arrive at the finish line with a gap of one minute because the General Classification girls didn’t want to give us too much of a gap.
Stage 3 of the 2015 Giro Rosa was one of those perfect women’s cycling days, where the “sprint” stage was taken over by the breakaway. I caught up with Jessie Walker, who’s racing the Giro for the first time, and came 20th, achieving her Giro goal and being best British rider on the stage, for a short Q&A
It’s your first ever Giro – how’s it going?
Well, the prologue was fun, I knew I wouldn’t be up there with this level of riders but I gave it my best. The atmosphere was amazing. I remember warming up on the turbo thinking “I can’t believe I’m here”. Then the first stage was a shock to the system. The heat, the climbs and the speed. Stage 2 I found easier as I knew what to expect. Then Stage 3 I felt even better. So hopefully this will continue.
One of the things I love about women’s cycling is how the peloton refuse to stick to the script! Stage 3 of the Giro Rosa was touted as one for the sprinters, but of course the riders had other ideas, and a break of 8 got away – Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) Elena Cecchini (Lotto Soudal), Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle Honda), Malgorzata Jasinska (Alé Cipollini), Claudia Lichtenberg (Liv-Plantur), Chiara Pierobon (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo), Loren Rowney (Velocio-SRAM), Valentina Scandolara (ORICA AIS) and Daiva Tuslaite (Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi) – with Brand, who finished on the podium twice so far, and had a day in the maglia rosa, and former Giro winner Lichtenberg, who needed to make up lost time, that was a serious threat… and 5 national champions out of 9, that was impressive! (Thanks Bidone Jack for that factoid!) Would they make it to the end, or would the sprinters’ teams take back one of the rare flat stages? Watch the 10 minute and hour-long highlights and find out! (If you don’t have much time, fast forward to to last 15-20 mins of the hour-long, as it gets really attacky)
Road-side video at the finish-line
Stage 2 was one of those typically Giro “Classics” stage, with a whole rang of short-sharp hills and tough descents towards the end of the race. There were a couple of early escape attempts, and then towards the end, Carlee Taylor and Flavia Oliveira broke away together, only to be chased by an elite group that could very well be the final GC, from the quality of riders…. Here’s the very short RAI highlights:
and the hour-long video from RAI
After Friday’s 2km prologue, Saturday was all about the peloton today, racing through Slovenia in a stage that had breakaways, but came down to a bunch sprint.
Short race highlights:
and 50 mins highlights from Italian tv