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Brand wins Giro Rosa stage 3; Guarnier retains GC lead

Lucinda Brand extends lead in points classification with breakaway win as American Megan Guarnier keeps the pink jersey

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Dutch national champion Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) sprinted to victory from a select group in stage 3 of the Giro Rosa. American Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) retained the maglia rosa with the general classification remaining virtually unchanged.

The longest stage of this year’s Giro Rosa at 130km from Curtatine to Mantova was animated from the beginning as Lindsey Williams (Orica-AIS) made a solo move in the opening kilometers. She was caught shortly before the lone queen of the mountains bonus of the day, and this allowed Flavia Oliveira (Ale Cipollini) to capture the QOM points.

Shortly after the QOM, the winning breakaway was established. The move included Brand, Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle-Honda), Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS), Malgorzata Jasinska (Alè-Cipollini), Chiara Pierobon (Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo), Claudia Lichtenberg (Liv-Plantur), Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal), Daiva Tuslaite (Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi), and Loren Rowney (Velocio-SRAM). Elena Franchi (Servetto-Footon) attempted to bridge up to the leaders with around 60km remaining in the stage, but was unsuccessful.

The peloton accelerated as the race approached the finish, trying to catch the nine leaders for a bunch sprint. Ultimately they got the timing wrong, as Brand out-sprinted Scandolara and Italian national champion Cecchini for the victory. The peloton finished over one minute behind the leaders with Guarnier finishing safely in the bunch to retain her overall lead. With the victory, Brand extended her lead in the points classification.

Last year’s winner Marianne Vos (Rabo-Liv) is not racing but was on hand to watch this year’s race finish for the first time in Italy.

Top 10, stage 3: Curtatone – Mantova (136 km)

1. Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) 3h17’57”
2. Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS) +0”
3. Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal) +0”
4. Loren Rowney (Velocio-SRAM) +0”
5. Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle-Honda) +0”
6. Daiva Tuslaite (Inpa Sottoli Giusfredi) +0”
7. Malgorzata Jasinska (Alè Cipollini) +0”
8. Claudia Lichtenberg (Liv-Plantur) +0′
9. Chiara Pierobon (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) +10”
10. Annalisa Cucinotta (Alè Cipollini) +1’15”

General classification top 10 after stage 3:

1. Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans Cycling Team) 9h’07’01”
2. Anna Van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) +2”
3. Ashleigh Moolman (Bigla) +5”
4. Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv) +12”
5. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-Honda) +13”
6. Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans) +15”
7. Katarzyna Niewadoma (Rabo-Liv) +17”
8. Karol-Ann Canuel (Velocio-SRAM) +24”
9. Mara Abbott (Wiggle-Honda) +37”
10. Elena Cecchini (Lotto-Soudal) +43”

The jerseys of the 26th Giro Rosa after stage 3:

Maglia Rosa: Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans)
Maglia Ciclamino: Lucinda Brand (Rabo-Liv)
Maglia Verde: Carlee Taylor (Lotto-Soudal)
Maglia Bianca: Katarzyna Niewadoma (Rabo-Liv)
Maglia Blu: Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-Honda)