Johansson 10th overall, Garfoot best Australian at Giro Rosa

Sun 13 Jul 2014

Swedish champion Emma Johansson has secured a top ten finish on general classification, crossing the line in eleventh on the final stage of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile this afternoon.

In more exciting news for ORICA-AIS' future, new recruit Katrin Garfoot also finished an impressive debut at the race, finishing as the top ranked Australian rider in 28th overall.

"As the last stage of the tour we knew it was going to be really aggressive and fast from the start and the race didn't disappoint," sport director Gene Bates said.

"It was flat out the whole way and we really didn't see any moves stick at all before we got to the climb.

"The actual run into the climb today was really technical and quick so we saw a lot of trains getting organised for the climb and that really singled out the bunch. When they finally hit the climb, it just exploded."

After a tough start to the week, where crashes affected the initial strategies, Bates was pleased with Johansson as she stepped up as the team's leader.

"We didn't put any pressure on her to go for the overall," Bates said. 

"We were more focused on stage wins and to her credit she backed up day after day and she just got stronger during the Tour.

"A top ten overall is a really great achievement and we are quite excited about the racing coming up with her and what she is going to be able to do."

After shining with a strong ride on the penultimate stage, Garfoot again delivered on another tough stage, crossing the line in sixteenth today, just two and a half minute behind winner Emma Pooley (LBL). 

"Katrin is really surprising us each day," Bates said. 

"She really didn't have a bad day and much like Emma she seemed to get stronger as the Tour went on. 

"Like I said yesterday, we are really excited and pleased about the way she is going about things and how she is improving every time she puts a number on her back."

Overall, Bates said it was a promising Tour to see the team working so well for each other.

"We pride ourselves in having a good team environment," Bates said.

"We walk away today and I can say everyone has really worked well together as one cohesive team.

"Having Valentina in the climbers jersey, for probably a lot longer than she would have thought she was capable of, was certainly a highlight. And also, Emma bouncing back after a tough day to run third on stage seven was really good too. 

"We didn't absolutely hit our target of trying to win a stage and a top five overall but we certainly weren't far away at all. I think the Tour has been a success and we are looking forward to the next few races now."

Photos Bart Hazen.