One day after her 25th birthday, Ruth Winder won stage 5 of the Giro Rosa Tuesday in Omegna, Italy and became the fourth Sunweb rider to wear the leader’s jersey.
Another American, Tayler Wiles (Trek-Drops) was second in the 117.5km stage after making the winning breakaway that went clear with 25 kilometers to go. Alice Maria Arzuffi (Bizkaia Durango-Euskadi Murias) rounded out the day’s podium in third.
Wiles benefitted from an early move by her teammate Liane Lippert. The German hopped into a 13-rider breakaway after 20km of racing, taking the pressure off of Sunweb.
With its Canadian rider Leah Kirchmann wearing pink, Sunweb allowed the break to ride.
Despite that, the 13 attackers never got more than one minute’s advantage on the field.
The leaders were brought back with 50 kilometers to go.
“For the first 80 kilometers, we stayed safe and calm together in the bunch,” said Winder. “We had Liane in the early break which was great and when that came back, we focused on positioning for the climb.”
Once the break came back, the peloton had about 25 kilometers before the winning move went clear on the gradual downhill to the stage finish.
Winder played her cards right in the finale and won the sprint ahead of her two surviving breakaway mates. She had several bike lengths at the line, enough time to celebrate her first WorldTour victory.
“I felt good over the top so we made it really hard and I put in attack and got away,” said Winder. “Coming into the sprint I had good legs and put my all in to take the win.”
Wednesday’s stage 6 will be the Giro’s first foray into the mountains. The 114.1-kilometer race from Sovico to Gerola Alta finishes atop a category 2 climb. Winder, a capable climber, has a good shot at holding onto the overall lead into the 10-stage race’s crucial final half.