The sprinters, domestiques and pure stage hunters had hoped the Stage 5 ITT would be a rest day, but wow, they were wrong! It was more like a Hill Climb than an ITT course, and pretty much insane – the organisers trolling the riders with their, erm, “misleading” profile.
So when we came to Stage 6, 4 laps of a course, no one trusted that it really would look like this:
And the descent looked especially hairy. We did have a lot of crashes throughout the race, and the heat was huge – a really tough day. There were lots of attack attempts, but there were enough teams ready to chase, and it was very active. Would any manage to escape?
If you are in Italy, or have a VPN, please do watch the highlights on RAI, for their audience figures. But if you can’t…
1. Lotta Lepistö (Fin) Cervélo-Bigla, 2:50:36
2. Coryn Rivera (USA) Sunweb, s.t.
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle High5, s.t.
4. Roxane Fournier (Fra) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope, s.t.
5. Elena Cecchini (Ita) Canyon-SRAM, s.t.
6. Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Kuota, s.t.
7. Emilie Moberg (Nor) Hitec Products, s.t.
8. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans, s.t.
9. Chloe Hosking (Aus) Alé Cipollini, s.t.
10. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) ORICA-Scott, + 00:03
The biggest shock to me was that on a stage which ended up as a pretty straight-forward sprint, Anna van der Breggen managed to gain 3 seconds on General Classification… and no other GC contenders did. I’m really impressed at how she’s battling for her maglia rosa, even when it seems like there’s no need.
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans, 11:53:11
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5, + 01:03
3. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) ORICA-Scott, + 01:39
4. Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans, + 03:11
5. Amanda Spratt (Aus) ORICA-Scott, + 03:32
6. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Procycling, + 04:02
7. Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels-Dolmans, + 04:22
8. Shara Gillow (Aus) FDJ-Nouvelle Aquitaine-Futuroscope, + 04:53
9. Arlenis Sierra Cañadilla (Cub) Astana, + 04:57
10. Claudia Lichtenberg (Ger) Wiggle High5, + 05:02
Tomorrow’s Stage 7 is the first of three stages perfect for climbing-Classics type. Starting with a climb, and then non-stop all day. It starts at 12:15 CEST (11:15am UK BST, 6:15am USA EDT, 8:15pm Aus AEST) and we can follow it online. And once again, the profile is, erm, misleading….