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On Wednesday van Vleuten won the race’s sixth stage—a 12.1-kilometer uphill time trial—by a whopping 52 seconds over Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans). With her victory van Vleuten padded her lead in the overall to 4:17 over Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM).
“I’ve worked so hard for this, I’ve been training with the guys, training at altitude and I’m super prepared with my team,” van Vleuten said. “It wasn’t as long or as brutal as last year so I knew I couldn’t take as much time today, but to almost take one-minute in 12.1 kilometers, it is quite a lot.”
The 12.1km course began in the village of Chiuro in the province of Sondrio, and finished up at the mountainous town of Teglio. The course began with a short flat section before a 10-kilometer uphill drag to the finish line. Riders tackled the course on time trial bikes, due to the flat section and gradual nature of the climb.
Clad in the pink race leader’s skin suit, van Vleuten was the final rider to race onto the course. She is the defending world champion in the discipline, and rocketed through the early sections of the course. Van Vleuten then caught and passed Niewiadoma just before the line—the Polish rider had started two minutes ahead of van Vleuten at the start.
With four stages remaining van Vleuten appears destined to take her second-consecutive overall victory at the Giro Rosa. In 2018 she roared to the victory in similar fashion, winning an uphill time trial before taking the final two stages. In 2018 van Vleuten’s final margin of victory was 4:12 over Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv). The Dutch rider already owns a larger margin over Niewiadoma.
“Every year I target the Giro, since 2017, I learn new things and I try to take it into the next year and so after two-years of targeting I have become an ‘alien’ as they now say,” van Vleuten said, referring to Elisa Longo Borghini’s quote following stage 5. “We will take it day by day and I will need to stay super focussed until Sunday. I did a recon of the stages so I know what is coming up and it’s not easy, especially the next three-days but my teammates are very strong.
Giro Rosa stage 6
- Annemiek van Vleuten, Mitchelton-Scott, 24:32
- Anna van der Breggen, Boels-Dolmans, at 0:52
- Elisa Longo Borghini, Trek-Segafredo, at 1:48
- Lucinda Brand, Team Sunweb, at 1:50
- Juliette Labous, Team Sunweb, at 1:54
- Katarzyna Niewiadoma, Canyon-SRAM, at 2:01
- Katharine Hall, Boels-Dolmans, at 2:04
- Amanda Spratt, Mitchelton-Scott, at 2:09
- Tayler Wiles, Trek-Segafredo, at 2:22
- Erica Magnaldi, WNT-Rotor, at 2:23
GC after six stages
- van Vleteun, 11:42:15
- Niewiadoma, at 4:17
- van der Breggen, at s.t.
- Brand, at 5:17
- Spratt, at 5:21
- Longo Borghini, at 5:47
- Hall, at 6:08
- Labous, at 6:20
- Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, CCC-Liv, at 6:33
- Magnaldi, at 6:34