Sprinters took a back seat Tuesday as the Giro Rosa offered up a 12.7km individual time trial in Sant’elpidio a Mare with Dutch champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) coming out on top.
The 34-year-old stage 2 winner crossed the line in a time of 25 minutes 29 seconds – a full 41 seconds ahead of race leader Anna Van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) and 1:15 over third-place finisher Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5).
Van Vleuten literally smashed the concurrence on the 12.7 km of the race, including the short but hard climb of Santa Lucia and Strada Cocciari, 400 meters with peaks of slope at about 30 percent.
“We had a really good preparation for this time trial, that was really good for my confidence going into the stage,” said van Vleuten. “Of course you also need good legs but I have been feeling really good throughout this Giro and I showed that again today.
“I was super disappointed yesterday but I managed to stay focused and I knew today was a chance to take some time back.”
After losing about two minutes in yesterday stage due to the wind, Van Vleuten showed off her time trial skills in the race against the clock, as she already won the prologues in Caserta 2014 and Ljubljana 2015. The physical effort has been huge for all the athletes in this discipline, as the average speed was of about 30 km/h.
The Italian road and time trial champion has a delay of one minute from Van der Breggen and keeps 36-second gap from van Vleuten, who jumps back on the virtual podium.
“The time gap on GC is still a lot but today gives me more confidence,” explained van Vleuten. “We will look at things day by day, I learnt the lesson the hard way yesterday not to switch off on flat stages so tomorrow I will be really focused.
“I have a great team here, it was very special yesterday with all the team working and going for this plan, so now we can go for it again.”
The 28th women’s Giro returns to a sprinter-friendly circuit on Wednesday with a 116.6km day in Roseta degli Abruzzi.
Stage 5 results, top 10
- 1. Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN, ORICA-SCOTT, in 25:29
- 2. Anna VAN DER BREGGEN, BOELS-DOLMANS, at 0:41
- 3. Elisa LONGO BORGHINI, WIGGLE-HIGH5, at 1:15
- 4. Amanda SPRATT, ORICA-SCOTT, at 1:48
- 5. Megan GUARNIER, BOELS-DOLMANS, at 1:53
- 6. Arlenis SIERRA, ASTANA WOMEN, at TBA
- 7. Claudia LICHTENBERG, WIGGLE-HIGH5, at TBA
- 8. Hannah BARNES, CANYON-SRAM, at TBA
- 9. Karol-ann CANUEL, BOELS-DOLMANS, at TBA
- 10. Shara GILLOW, FDJ-NOUVELLE AQUITAINE-FUTUROSCOPE, at TBA
- 1. Anna VAN DER BREGGEN, BOELS-DOLMANS, in 9:02:35
- 2. Elisa LONGO BORGHINI, WIGGLE-HIGH5, at 1:00
- 3. Annemiek VAN VLEUTEN, ORICA-SCOTT, at 1:36
- 4. Megan GUARNIER, BOELS-DOLMANS, at 3:08
- 5. Amanda SPRATT, ORICA-SCOTT, at 3:29
- 6. Katarzyna NIEWIADOMA, WM3 ENERGIE, at 3:59
- 7. Karol-ann CANUEL, BOELS-DOLMANS, at 4:19
- 8. Claudia LICHTENBERG, WIGGLE-HIGH5, at 4:36
- 9. Shara GILLOW, FDJ-NOUVELLE AQUITAINE-FUTUROSCOPE, at 4:50
- 10. Arlenis SIERRA, ASTANA WOMEN, at 4:54