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Giro Rosa, stage 4: Borghesi wins from a breakaway

Letizia Borghesi out-sprinted her breakaway companions to win stage 4 of the Giro Rosa.

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The fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia Internationale Femminile saw another dramatic finish as Italian rider Letizia Borghesi (Aromitalia-Basso-Vaiano) out sprinted her breakaway companions to take a narrow victory.

Borghesi beat Nadia Quagliotto (Ale-Cipollini) and Chiara Perini (BePink) after the three riders survived nearly 60 kilometers of riding in the breakaway.

Quagliotto initially thought she had won and raised her hands in victory, however a photo finish revealed that it was Borghesi who took the win with a well-timed bike throw.

“I gave it everything in the sprint,” Borghesi said at the finish. “This victory is for my family, the team, my relatives.”

Letizia Borghesi (left) threw her bike at the line to beat Quagliotto (center), who thought she had won. Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images

The breakaway did not impact the overall classification, and Katarzyna Niewiadoma retained her lead in the general classification. Niewiadoma holds a slim four-second advantage on Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv), who won stages two and three.

The overall classification is likely to change on Tuesday’s stage 5, as the Giro Rosa heads into the mountains.

Organizers have removed the Passo Gavia, which was the original finish point for the fifth stage, due to avalanches and landslides. Instead, the race will finish with the uphill battle to the Cancano dam, which is just outside Bormio.

Despite the removal of the Gavia, riders are expecting a punishing day of climbing.

“It’s going to be a very challenging stage,” Niewiadoma said. “I’m enjoying this moment now. Tomorrow is one of the hardest and most brutal stages in the Giro.”

Monday’s victory marks the first professional win for Borghesi, who is just 20 years old. At the finish line, she told Italian media that the victory was “the best day of my life.”

“It’s the best day of my life, I wanted to go on the [breakaway], because I was fine,” Borghesi said at the finish. “We went  [with an] agreement initially, then the collaboration between the three of us had failed.”

Giro Rosa, stage 4

  1. Letizia Borghesi, Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano, 2:29:50
  2. Nadia Quagliotto, Ale-Cipollini
  3. Chiara Perini, BePink, both at s.t.
  4. Marianne Vos, CCC-Liv, at 0:42
  5. Leah Kirchmann, Team Sunweb
  6. Soraya Paladin, Ale-Cipollini
  7. Annemiek Van Vleuten, Mitchelton-Scott
  8. Ilaria Sanguineti, Valcar-Cyclance
  9. Kelly Van Den Steen, Lotto Soudal
  10. Rasa Leleivyte, Aromitalia-Basso Bikes-Vaiano, all at s.t.