Giro Rosa: Lucinda Brand wins stage 8 solo

Lucinda Brand rides clear of breakaway companion Tatiana Riabchenko in stage 8 at the Giro Rosa to win solo.

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Lucinda Brand rode clear of breakaway companion Tatiana Riabchenko in stage 8 at the Giro Rosa to win solo Friday in Palinuro, Italy.

It was the Sunweb rider’s third career stage win at the biggest stage race on the Women’s WorldTour calendar. Brand, 28, came home 18 seconds ahead of Lensworld-Kuota’s Riabchenko.

American Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans) sprinted to third place out of the peloton, 1:33 behind the winner.

Brand managed to overcome a crash while bridging up to Riabchenko, who was off the front alone. She attacked out of the bunch on the day’s penultimate climb. “I felt really good all day and on the climb I decided to try to get away and chase the other breakaway riders down,” Brand said.

With two kilometers remaining, Brand made her winning move, and the Ukrainian could not follow.

“Step by step she closed the gap and even after a crash on the descent she managed to make it to the leader,” said Sunweb coach Adriaan Helmantel. “It was a tough fight with over 30 kilometers out at the front on her own.”

Guarnier’s Dutch teammate Anna van der Breggen kept her 1:03 lead in the race overall with two stages remaining. Italian Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle-High5) remains in second place. Another Dutchwoman, Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) is third overall, 1:39 behind.

Unfortunately, the day started with news that Italian Claudia Cretti, 21, was in an induced coma after a crash in Thursday’s stage 7.

The race’s penultimate stage is a 122.3km run to Polla Saturday, where the sprinters will likely enjoy the flat final circuit after some early climbs.

Stage 8, top five

1. Lucinda Brand in 3:46:10
2. Tatiana Riabchenko at +0:12
3. Megan Guarnier, +1:33
4. Annemiek Van Vleuten, +1:33
5. Elisa Longo Borghini, +1:33

Top-five overall

1. Anna Van der Breggen at 19:24:57
2. Elisa Longo Borghini in +1:03
3. Annemiek Van Vleuten, +1:39
4. Megan Guarnier, +3:07
5. Lucinda Brand, +3:26