Stage 8 was called the Queen Stage of this year’s Giro Rosa, which might look odd, as it only had a Cat 2 climb. But each year the Giro likes to vary the race, so we have editions full of Mountain Top Finishes, some with famous climbs followed by huge descents, and some, like this, without as many mountains.
But it was still a very tough stage, made harder by another day of burning heat. Tatiana Riabchenko had attacked and was out solo, chased by Anouska Koster, who was joined by Janneke Ensing, and then Lucinda Brand. Brand attacked towards the top, and set out to chase down Riabchenko, while behind these chasers, a group with the General Classification leaders attacked each other.
Brand is one of the best descenders in the peloton (remember her amazing descending to win Stage 7 of the 2017 race?) and she caught Riabchenko, but then, in the last 10km, she crashed… would Riabchenko make it to the finish alone? Would the chasers catch all the escapees? It was drama right to the line.
If you are in Italy, or have a VPN, please do watch the highlights on RAI – but if not….
Stage 8 results
1. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb, 3:46:10
2. Tatiana Riabchenko (Ukr) Lensworld-Kuota, + 00:12
3. Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans, + 1:33
4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) ORICA-Scott, s.t.
5. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5, s.t.
6. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans, s.t.
7. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Procycling, s.t.
8. Amanda Spratt (Aus) ORICA-Scott, s.t.
9. Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels-Dolmans, s.t.
10. Claudia Lichtenberg (Ger) Wiggle High5, s.t.
General Classification after Stage 8
1. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Boels Dolmans, 10:24:57
2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5, + 01:03
3. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) ORICA-Scott, + 01:39
4. Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans, + 03:07
5. Lucinda Brand (Ned) Sunweb, + 03:27
6. Amanda Spratt (Aus) ORICA-Scott, + 03:32
7. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) WM3 Procycling, + 04:02
8. Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels-Dolmans, + 04:22
9. Claudia Lichtenberg (Ger) Wiggle High5, + 05:05
10. Arlenis Sierra Cañadilla (Cub) Astana, + 05:15
Brand’s win moved her back into the top 10, and Lichtenberg moved up – while Sierra Cañadilla and Shara Gillow both lost time.
If you’ve been enjoying the Giro, click through to the race sponsor page, and thank their sponsors, it really makes a difference. And I’ve got some more very simple ideas of what we all can do to help women’s cycling – please do take 5 minutes to do some of these, because it all adds up.
As we get closer to the finish, we are running out of chances for riders to try to take the maglia rosa that Anna van der Breggen has worn since Stage 2. Tomorrow’s Stage 9 doesn’t look like it will offer chances for GC change, as it looks like one for tough sprinters…. but you know the drill, it’s the Giro, anything can happen! It starts at 12:15 CEST (11:15am UK BST, 6:15am USA EDT, 8:15am Aus AEST) and we can try to follow it in the usual ways.