For the second day in a row, Jolien D’hoore sprinted to victory at the Giro Rosa Monday, beating Italian Marta Bastianelli in the 109km stage 4. Lotta Lepisto (Cervelo-Bigla) was third behind Mitchelton-Scott’s Belgian and Ale-Cipollini’s sprinter.
Canadian Leah Kirchmann remained in the overall lead, thanks to her Sunweb team’s victory in the stage 1 team time trial.
“It was great to wear the jersey today, really special experience,” Kirchmann said. “It was another really hot day. There were some climbs in the middle and it got pretty tough. The group split up a little bit, some small breaks, but it was pretty flat going into the finish so everyone seemed pretty motivated to set it up for a bunch sprint and that’s what we got.”
In fact, D’hoore was one of those riders dropped on the day’s only categorized climb.
A front group of about 60 riders looked to have left stage 3’s winner behind.
“I did a lot of work, and I was dropped on the climb,” D’hoore said. “I didn’t feel like I was having my best day today but everything came back together and again it was a bunch sprint.”
Despite an attack with 30km to go, the peloton brought the race back together with about 9km remaining.
D’hoore was a bit boxed-in through the final corner and had to open up her sprint early. It proved to be enough for her to win the race around Piacenza.
“I’m really happy to take another win for the team after yesterday. I actually can’t believe it … In the final, I was realizing that it was a bunch sprint so I had another chance.”
On Tuesday, the race’s stage 5 may offer up another bunch sprint with a flat run into Omegna after 117.7km.
“We’d love to keep the jersey for as long as possible,” Kirchmann added. We’re just going to take it day by day and take the opportunities where they present themselves and see how well we can do.”