Évita Muzic (FDJ Nouvelle Aquitaine Futuroscope) took the mountainous final stage of the Giro Rosa from a breakaway Saturday, while Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) finished in the bunch with her GC rivals to secure the overall.
Van der Breggen had gone into the stage with a 1:10 lead over strong climber Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM), and the 30-year-old was able to fend off the young Pole in the mountain-packed stage to take her third Giro Rosa title, having also won in 2015 and 2017.
Niewiadoma and Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) rounded out the final podium.
“I’m really happy! I was nervous before the stage but I’m really proud of my team and this result,” Niewiadoma said after the stage. “Our team’s first GC podium at the Giro Rosa.”
Saturday’s ninth and final stage of the race played out over repeats of a 27.5-kilometer circuit around Motta Montecorvino, with a dragging 11.4km climb dominating the loop.
A powerful group of over 20 riders had formed at the front of the race heading into the final lap. The bunch that included Muzik, Ellen van Dijk, Ruth Winder (both Trek-Segafredo), Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott), Erica Magnaldi (Ceratizit-WNT), Sabrina Stultiens (CCC-Liv) and Arlenis Sierra (Astana) had gained nearly five minutes on the GC group of around 15 riders, with van der Breggen, Niewiadoma and Longo Borghini among them.
Stultiens and Sierra launched off the front in the final five kilometers of the race, which played out on the lower slopes of the centerpiece Montecorvino climb. The pair were reeled in before Magnaldi rolled the dice with a late move.
However, it was Muzic that proved the strongest after Magnaldi was overhauled. The 21-year-old Frenchwoman lead home the remainder of the breakaway bunch to pip Niamh Fischer-Black (Paule Ka) and Juliette Labous (Sunweb) in the final uphill sprint.