Johansson tenth on penultimate stage of Giro Rosa

Sat 12 Jul 2014

Emma Johansson has finished tenth in a tough mountain finish on the penultimate stage of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile.

A 23km uphill finish, including a 13km climb with an average gradient of 8%, meant it was a day for the climbers. Current Queen of the Mountain Emma Pooley (LBL) took out her second stage win of the Tour.

With the climb on the peloton’s mind, it was a fast and furious start to racing.

“The team plan was to try and get a couple of riders up the road in support of Emma for the final climb,” sport director Gene Bates said.

“So it worked out, I think a few other teams had the same idea and really we saw a lot of attacking and a super fast race but nothing ever went away from the group.

“We saw the fastest first hour of the whole Tour in today’s stage so gives you an idea of what it was like.

“I think the anticipation of getting up the climb in the front group contributed. It’s nice to have a head start and being able to get some riders up the road to help the team leader is also at the back of their mind.”

For the ORICA-AIS line up, it was all about setting up Johansson for the final challenging ascent.

“From there, we looked to set up Emma as best as possible coming into the final climb because we knew that was going to be the main target for the day,” Bates said.

“She hit the bottom and had really good legs today. 

“She is really pleased with the way she is climbing, especially today.  During the Tour she is just getting better and better, so we were really pleased with the result she had and she maintained her overall position also.”

In another pleasing note, new signing Katrin Garfoot continued to display her potential for the ORICA-AIS outfit finished 19th.

“Garfoot’s ride today was exceptional,” Bates said.

“We have really been pleased with her during this Tour. She has only just signed with the team and already she is fitting in really well and to finish where she did today, not far off Emma’s group was an exceptional ride for her.

“It is the longest race she has ever done Tour wise, and to be able to produce an effort like she did in the second last stage is not a small feat by any stretch. 

“We are just really please with the way she is handling herself at the moment.”