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Stage 3 was the first mountain stage at the 2014 Giro Rosa. A 15-rider breakaway got away about 40 kilometers into the 125-kilometer course, which started in Caserta, where the prologue took place, and finished in San Donato Val dii Comino.
The break included prologue winner Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabobank-Liv), stage 2 winner Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda), Tiffany Cromwell (Specialized-lululemon), and Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS). The gap reached a maximum of two minutes.
After 86 kilometers, the first climb was underway. The Belmonte Castello is roughly seven kilometers long, gaining 1,700 feet in elevation. Scandolara, part of the initial breakaway, was the first to reach the top of the climb, earning her the green jersey.
With less than 10 kilometers to go, Japanese national champion Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle Honda) was at the front of the group, and the break that was previously 15 women was down to just six racers: Doris Schweizer (Astana BePink), Elena Berlato (Alé Cipollini), Cromwell, van Vleuten, and Scandolara.
Van Vleuten won with an attack in the final meters, earning her second stage win of the 2014 Giro Rosa. Berlato was 10 seconds behind van Vleuten, and Hagiwara finished third.
Ecstatic about a second stage win, van Vleuten said, “I wasn’t sure I could take the win today. It’s a great victory and I want to dedicate it to my teammates, who rode fantastic in this stage.”
Although Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv) was fifth in stage 3, she remains first in GC.
Two-time Giro champion Mara Abbot (UnitedHealthcare) currently sits 11th on GC after finishing 16th in stage 3, 27 seconds behind van Vleuten.
Stage 4 is 118 kilometers, featuring an intermediate sprint in Potenza Picena.
Stage 3 Results:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Rabobank-Liv)
2. Elena Berlato (Alè Cipollini Galassia)
3. Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle Honda)
1. Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv)
2. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabobank-Liv)
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products)