By finishing second on the stage, Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) is the new race leader, taking the maglia rosa from Annemiek Van Vleuten (Bigla)

Italy’s Barbara Guarischi (Velocio-SRAM) won the 102km stage 1 of the Giro Rosa in Ljubljana, Slovenia, in a field sprint.

By finishing second on the stage, Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) is the new race leader, taking the maglia rosa from the shoulders of Annemiek Van Vleuten (Bigla) winner of the opening 2km prologue on Friday.

“I waited until 100m to go because there was a headwind and when I won, I was overwhelmed,” Guarischi said. “It was too much. I’m so happy.”

The stage win came as redemption for Guarischi, whose season was derailed by a broken rib in a crash

Guarischi’s victory was made possible by a superb lead-out from her Velocio teammates, especially European Games gold medalist Alena Amialiusik, who put Guarischi in position for the final sprint. Guarischi’s teammate Tiffany Cromwell finished third.

The stage was marked by a two-rider breakaway from Malgorzata Jasinska (Alè-Cipollini) and Ana Maria Covrig (BePink-La Classica); the peloton caught the duo about five kilometers from the finish line.

On Sunday the Giro Rosa leaves Slovenia and arrives in Italy; stage 2 starts in Gaiarine, and ends in San Fior.

Top 10, stage 1 (Kamnik – Ljubljana, 102.5 km)

1. Barbara Guarischi (Velocio-SRAM) 2h32’23”
2. Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) +0”
3. Tiffany Cromwell (Velocio-SRAM) +0”
4. Elena Cecchini (Lotto Soudal Ladies) +0”
5. Floortje Makaaj (Liv-Plantur) +0”
6. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) +0”
7. Annalisa Cucinotta (Alè-Cipollini) +0”
8. Anna Zita Maria Stricker (Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi) +0”
9. Mia Radotic (BTC City Ljubljana) +0”
10. Anna Trevisi (Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi) +0”

General classification after stage 1

1. Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) 2h35’06”
2. Barbara Guarischi (Velocio-SRAM) +4”
3. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Bigla Pro Cycling Team) +5”
4. Roxane Knetemann (Rabo-Liv) +6”
5. Tiffany Cromwell (Velocio-SRAM) +7”
6. Anna Van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) +7”
7. Ellen Van Dijk (Boels Dolmans Pro Cycling Team) +8”
8. Ashleigh Moolman (Bigla Pro Cycling Team) +8”
9. Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS) +8”
10. Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans Pro Cycling Team) +9”

The leader’s jerseys of the 26th Giro Rosa, after stage 1

Pink Jersey: Lucinda Brand (Rabo – Liv)
Ciclamino Jersey: Annemiek Van Vleuten (Bigla Pro Cycling Team)
Green Jersey: Malgorzata Jasinska (Alè-Cipollini)
White Jersey: Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv)
Blue Jersey: Barbara Guarischi (Velocio-SRAM)