Johansson third on stage seven of Giro RosaFri 11 Jul 2014
Swedish champion Emma Johansson has finished third on stage seven of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile this afternoon.
A surviving group of 60 riders battled it out in a bunch sprint on the tough uphill finish in Chiavenna. Race leader Marianne Vos (RBW) continued her dominance, winning her fourth stage of the Tour.
With the stage suiting Johansson's strengths, the team went into the stage in full protection.
“We were rapt with that result today,” sport director Gene Bates said.
“The team all contributed in the finish to help Emma up to the sprint. To be beaten by (Giorgia) Bronzini and Vos is not a bad thing, so we were really happy to be on the podium today.
“I think she (Johansson) was a little bit disappointed yesterday with how she was climbing and to bounce back straight away and get the top three is excellent.”
The race was animated from the beginning with a ten-kilometer category two climb kicking off proceedings.
Valentina Scandolara, who started the day in the Queen of the Mountains jersey, will hand it over to yesterday's stage winner Emma Pooley after she took top points on the one and only classified climb for the day.
“Valentina really need to get points on the climb to keep the jersey,” Bates explained.
“She probably climbed the best we have seen her climb this year to try and hang onto it.
“The peloton was reduced down to a group of 20 riders by the top and she dropped about the kilometer from the summit so was unable to take points and has lost the jersey today.”
Following the climb two groups tried their luck for breakaway success, but in the end all was back together with 20km to ride.
“After the climb, Emma (Johansson) was in a group of six that went away,” Bates said.
“It was a good group. There was nobody on GC (general classification) and we thought it might have gone, but Rabobank and a couple of others were interested in bringing it back so that move came back.
“That’s when we saw the next move with Scandolara and (Katrin) Garfoot in it. That was probably the biggest move of the day; they got out to a minute and a half.
“We were really happy for that move to go and we were confident that if it stayed away to the finish Valentina may have been able to win the stage. If it came back together we would have Emma as our back up for the stage result and we didn’t have to put any effort into bringing it back ourselves.
“It was the perfect move coming into the finish for us.”
Photos by Bart Hazen.