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Roglic, Vollering take wins at Giro dell’Emilia

Vuelta winner Roglic back to winning ways after worlds abandon, 22-year-old Vollering out-kicks Longo Borghini

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Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma) and Demi Vollering (Parkhotel Valkenberg) came out top in the Giro dell’Emilia one-day races on Saturday.

Vuelta a Espana winner Roglic was too powerful for EF Education First pair Michael Woods and Sergio Higuita as he accelerated away from them in the final kilometer of the testing climb to the finish line in San Luca, winning the men’s race by 15 seconds.

The victory marked his second success of the year on the climb’s steep slopes, having also won the Giro d’Italia’s opening time trial which finished in the same location.

In the women’s, Vollering set the pace as the race came down to a select group on the finish climb, and was able to counter a strong sprint from pre-race favorite Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) to take her second victory of the season.

Vollering showed a strong second kick to counter Longo Borghini. Photo: Luc Claessen/Getty Images [FILE]

Both men’s and women’s races focussed on the San Luca climb, a 2km kicker with 15 percent ramps. The 98km women’s race finished atop the climb after an entirely flat start, while the 207km men’s race finished with five laps around the sharp ascent on the edge of Bologna.

In the women’s race,  a large group came onto the final climb together and instantly splintered as the gradients kicked. Vollering took up the pace with one kilometer to go on the steepest pitches of the ascent, with only Longo-Borghini, Nikola Noskova (Bigla), Leanne Lippert (Sunweb) and Erica Magnaldi (WNT-Rotor) able to hang on.

Longo Borghini sat glued to Vollering’s wheel as Lippert and Magnaldi faded and dropped off the group.

The Italian accelerated around Vollering with around 300 meters to go in a searing turn of pace and looked to have distanced her, but the Dutchwoman was able to regroup and make it back in the final 100 meters to come around the Trek-Segafredo rider and win by a bike length.

The men’s race saw a strong start list including Roglic, Egan Bernal (Ineos), Vincenzo Nibali (Bahrain Merida), Jakob Fuglsang (Astana), Richard Carapaz, and Alejandro Valverde (both Movistar)

Like in the women’s race, the men’s edition all came down to the final ascent, where an attacking group of five were caught by seven riders from the peloton. The group of 12 contained a number of pre-race favorites, with Roglic, Fuglsang, Valverde, Bernal, Woods, and Higuita all in the mix.

Woods launched the first meaningful move as the gradient maxed out at 1.5km to the line and the group split. Roglic was quick to respond to the Canadian’s move and continued to accelerate straight past him.

Higuita had been the next to respond to Wood’s initial acceleration and caught his teammate, and the two set off in pursuit. However, Roglic was unstoppable and continued to grow his gap.

As the gradient eased in the final section of the climb, Roglic’s lead was so large he was able to sit up and celebrate far before the line, beating the EF Education pair by 15 seconds.

“I didn’t feel really good, but I fight until the end for them and it’s nice to be able to win again here,” said Roglic of his first one-day race victory.

Results: Giro dell’Emilia Donne

  1. Demi Vollering (Parkhotel Valkenburg)
  2. Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo)
  3. Nikola Noskova (Bigla)

Results: Giro dell’Emilia

  1. Primoz Roglic (Jumbo-Visma)
  2. Michael Woods (EF Education First)
  3. Sergio Higuita (EF Education First)