Australian Grace Brown powered to her first Giro Donne podium with third place in the stage four mountain time trial after setting the early benchmark.
The Brugge-De Panne winner opted for a full time trial setup to tackle the 11.2km course and the 28-year-old obliterated the early times to go fastest by more than two minutes.
It was then a long nervous wait in the hot-seat as rider after rider failed to beat Brown’s time of 26’14”. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio was the first rival to go faster at the intermediate split, but it was her SD Worx teammate Demi Vollering who knocked Brown off the top spot as she crossed the line.
In the end it was race leader Anna van der Breggen who took the stage victory to extend her overall lead, with Brown’s early time good enough for third place and her first individual Giro Donne podium.
“I’m happy with third place on today’s stage, I really wanted to test myself in an individual time trial ahead of the Olympics, so I achieved that today.
It was a pretty tough course, with lots of climbing, so not really particularly suited to me, but that makes me proud that I fought anyway for that third position.”
Martin Vestby (Head Sport Director):
“It was a really strong time trial from Grace, it’s nice for her to really test her legs before the Olympics, so we’re really happy with that.
Now we have seen what Van der Breggen can do on the climbs, so for sure on a course like this it is hard to beat her, but we knew that Grace would be strong and she showed that, so we can be really happy with today.”
2021 Giro Donne Stage 4 – Results:
1. Anna van der Breggen 24:57
2. Demi Vollering +1:06
3. Grace Brown (Team BikeExchange) +1:17
2021 Giro Donne – GC After Stage 4:
1. Anna van der Breggen
Photo Courtesy of Getty Sport.