DÃ©jÃ vu for ORICA-AIS on stage five of Giro RosaWed 9 Jul 2014
It was a case of déjà vu for ORICA-AIS on stage five of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile today.
Swedish champion Emma Johansson was fourth across the line in a bunch sprint to maintain fifth overall, whilst Italian Valentina Scandolara took minor points over the days only climb to solidify her hold on the Queen of the Mountains jersey.
“It was almost a dead repeat of yesterday except the climb came mid-way through the race instead of at the finish,” sport director Gene Bates said.
“We went in with a very similar tactic actually, to try and get points in the mountains classification with Valentina (Scandolara) and then set ourselves up for a good stage result and keep Emma (Johansson) out of trouble.
“And that is pretty much what happened.”
The race saw multiple attacks throughout the 118km stage, but nothing substantial survived on the relative flat journey from Jesi to Cesenatico predicted as the final opportunity for the sprinters to have an impact.
“Over the climb one Rabobank rider just got away. Valentina took points which was good and extended her lead in the climbers jersey even further,” Bates said.
“And then we set ourselves up for the finish.
“All the girls contributed again which was a great team effort and Emma ran fourth and maintains her position overall which is really the main thing for her at the moment.”
The race changes tact tomorrow as it hits the mountains and threatens to shake up the general classification ranks.
“Tomorrow is really the first big mountain stage,” Bates explains.
“A category two climb, then a cat three climb and then, near the final, is the category one climb up to 1000 meters so it is really the first big GC (general classification) day.
“We will be going in to try and get some points for the KOM (mountains) jersey and make sure Emma is in the best position possible for the climb and the finish.”
Marianne Vos was victorious for her second consecutive and third stage for the Tour and despite the move to the mountains is going to be very hard to crack.
“She (Vos) is certainly going very strong,” Bates conceded.
“I don’t think she is unstoppable, but I think she is on her game and she is going to be very difficult to beat every time, whether it is in the hills or in a sprint.”
Photos by Bart Hazen and Giro Rosa Cycling