Kristen Faulkner has claimed her second stage win of the Giro d’Italia Donne with a stunning and daring long range attack on the Queen Stage.
The American backed up her attacking ride on stage eight with another bold and brave move on today’s stage, that was also rewarded with the green jersey for the leader of the Queen of the Mountain’s classification.
Faulkner made her initial move over the top of the first categorised climb of the day, as she jumped out of the already reduced peloton with Gaia Realini for company. The duo stretched their advantage out to over two minutes by the time they reached the next climb, with the general classification contenders involved in their own tactical battle for the overall.
Despite movement in the bunch behind, Faulkner and Realini maintained a healthy gap of around two minutes as they passed over the summit of the Duron climb. With Faulkner taking maximum points at the top, the Alaskan moved herself to the top of the QOM standings on the road.
After working well with her breakaway companion, the stage one winner then went solo on the final climb of the day, taking the Cima Coppi prize and further points in the mountain’s classification competition.
A series of attacks in the chasing Maglia Rosa group reduced Faulkner’s advantage as she raced down the descent, but the powerful 29-year-old was able to hold off the chasers and maintain her gap over the hilly run to the finish line.
An exhausted Faulkner could barely lift her arms to celebrate as she crossed the line, after another epic and powerful display as Team BikeExchange-Jayco bounced back in style, after losing team leader Amanda Spratt and Georgia Baker to Covid.
Kristen Faulkner (1st)
“Today was really hard, we knew that our best chance for a stage win was to go in an early break, so on the first climb, pretty early, less than 20km in, Gaia went and I went with her and we were able to get a gap and stay away.
It’s definitely been a race of resilience, stage four was pretty rough for me with dehydration and then Spratty and Georgia didn’t start yesterday because of Covid, so it was really special to come back really strong and show the strength of our team and how we don’t let anything bring us down.
Last year at the Giro I was off the back the whole time, so this year is pretty special and I’ve just learned that I can’t predict anything at this Giro. We have some sprinter’s on our team, so I’m hoping tomorrow finishes in a bunch sprint, and best of luck to our sprinters.”
Martin Vestby (Head Sport Director)
“It was a perfect day! A win is always special and always good when it’s done in this kind of way. It was Kristen’s second day out there in a big, long breakaway, so it’s even more impressive.
Kristen is super strong, and it was a great day for her and also for the team after losing Spratty and Georgia yesterday.”
2022 Giro d’Italia Donne Stage 9 – Results:
1. Kristen Faulkner (Team BikeExchange-Jayco) 3:36:36
2. Marta Cavali +0:59
3. Elisa Longo Borghini +1’24”
Photo: Getty Sport