The third stage of the Giro Rosa ended in a bunch sprint in San Vendemiano on Sunday. Race leader Anna van der Breggen finished safely within the peloton to keep the maglia rosa. World champion Amalie Dideriksen contested the sprint, managing fifth place.
“It was fast today but not much happened,” said Van der Breggen. “We were over the Poggio with a steady pace and had a small group for a moment, but in the downhill things came together again. After that it was clear that some teams were going for a bunch sprint, which was fine for us.”
“We tried to do a lead-out, but in the end only Chantal [Blaak] was left,” noted Dideriksen. “I was forced to open around 300 metres to go when riders came up on my left side. I didn’t want to get boxed in, but I couldn’t hold it all the way. I would have preferred to wait to 200 metres.”
Despite repeated early attacks during the opening hour of the 102-kilometre stage, the peloton stayed together until the day’s only intermediate sprint. Boels-Dolmans duo Nikki Brammeier and Chantal Blaak scooped up maximum points and seconds. Lotta Lepistö came third to take the last second and point on offer.
Immediately after the intermediate sprint, Ana Sanchez Sanabria (Servetto Giusta) escaped. She was unable to stretch her advantage beyond the 40-second mark and returned to the peloton in the run-in to the Muro Ca’ del Poggio.
The second category climb split the peloton with an elite selection of eight taking shape over the top. The split included both Van der Breggen and defending champion Megan Guarnier.
“There was a quick downhill after the short climb,” noted Dideriksen. “We were one big group behind the few out front, and we made contact just before the next little climb.”
Elena Cecchini (CANYON//SRAM) attacked as soon as the main bunch made contact with the leaders. She held a gap between 10-20 seconds until she returned to the peloton with around 15 kilometres remaining.
Shortly after Cecchini’s catch, the lead-out trains began to take shape and the projected sprint eventuated. Hannah Barnes (CANYON//SRAM) sprinted off Dideriksen’s wheel to take the win ahead Lepistö and Kirsten Wild (Cylance).
The Giro Rosa continues on Monday with a 118-kilometre stage that begins and ends in Occhiobello. The profile is pan-flat and should be another day for the sprinters.