Sunday, 3 July 2011

Giro Donne: Stage 3 debrief

Marianne Vos, rapidly becoming
one of our very favourite cyclists,
won another stage.
The action in France was once again matched over the border in Italy today where the riders in this year's Giro Donne battled it out over challenging terrain. Just for good measure and to make sure everyone was awake, it started off with a quick lap on cobbles and then entered into a fast descent through fog which made the dangerous hairpin bends slippery and soon accounted for one rider when Evelyn Stevens took what at first looked like a heavy fall. Thankfully, she was rapidly back onboard and hammering downwards as quickly as before.

Ina Teutenberg, who took seventh place yesterday, soon decided that the time was ripe for a breakaway and accelerated ahead, soon gaining an advantage of around five minutes. However, it was still early in the race and the peloton were content to let her go, confident that she would burn herself out on the multiple climbs as indeed proved to be the case. Unfortunately, the world hasn't quite got the whole gender equality thing sorted out just yet and so women's racing is largely ignored in comparison to men's; which means that at present we have very little data on what actually happened during the stage - thanks to Podium Cafe who seem to be the only news source to have got anything online as of yet and also to Amanda Miller of HTC-Highroad who, despite having actually been in the race today, found the energy to knock out a blogpost on it. We shall, hopefully, have more information tomorrow morning.

We predicted this morning that the stage would go to Marianne Vos, simply because no other female rider can absorb pain like she can, and we were correct. She really had no rivals up the evil-looking final couple of kilometres which resemble a vertical cliff rather than a road on the stage profile - while other riders concentrated on getting themselves up, Vos attacked all the way and reached the summit 19" before Emma Pooley, a rider with the power-to-weight ratio of a cheetah and who was the only rider able to keep anywhere near her. As a result, Vos regains the pink leader's jersey while also holding both the yellow (which in this race signifies Queen of the Mountains) and the points classification too.

Stage results:

1.   Marianne Vos (Netherlands) Nederland Bloeit, 2h58'04"
2.   Emma Pooley (UK) Garmin-Cervélo +19"
3.   Judith Arndt (Germany) HTC-Highroad +2'50"
4.   Rasa Leleivyte (Lithuania) Vaiano Solaristech - new youth classification leader
5.   Emma Johansson (Sweden) Hitec Products
6.   Ruth Corset (Australia) Bizkaia Durango
7.   Tatiana Guderzo (Italy) MCipollini-Giambenini 3-7 received same time
8.   Sylwia Kapusta (Poland) Gauss +2'59"
9.   Tatiana Antoshina (Russia) Gauss +3'12"
10. Fabiana Luperini (Italy) MCipollini-Giambenini +3'24"

Overall results:

1.   Marianne Vos (Netherlands) Nederland Bloeit 7h50'46"
2.   Sylwia Kapusta (Poland) Gauss +08"
3.   Emma Pooley (UK) Garmin-Cervélo +36"
4.   Shara Gillow (Australia) Bizkaia Durango +1'15"
5.   Sharon Laws (UK) Garmin-Cervélo +1'19"
6.   Grace Verbeke (Belgium) TopSport Vlaanderen +2'16"
7.   Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (France) Gauss +2'19"
8.   Judith Arndt (Germany) HTC-Highroad +3'07"
9.   Linda Villumsen (New Zealand) AA Drink-Leontien +3'12"
10. Emma Johansson (Sweden) Hitec +3'14"

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