Mel Hoskins Sprints to Tenth in Corbetta; Shara Gillow Sixth on Giro Rosa OverallSat 6 Jul 2013
Melissa Hoskins rounded out the top ten on the penultimate stage of the Giro Rosa. Fans were treated to a field sprint in Corbetta where Marianne Vos handily beat out Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle Honda) and Shelley Olds (Team TIBCO), pocketing bonus seconds on the line of the last road stage.
Mara Abbott retains her firm grasp on the maglia rosa as Gillow sits in sixth overall, tied with time on Vos in fifth place at 4’50. While Abbott may have a stronghold on the race lead, the final stage time trial will prove decisive for the lesser general classification positions.
Save for a few early break attempts and a short-lived late race split in the field stage seven stayed together from start to finish. Following two difficult days in the mountains, the heat and the fast pace made for another challenging day of Italian racing.
“It was really fast all day,” said Sport Director Dave McPartland. “There was never really any point where they let off the pace. The girls said a few teams were aggressive at the beginning of the stage. We covered the early moves. We wanted to make sure we were in anything that went away, but it predominantly stayed together.”
Inside two laps to go, the bunch split into three distinct groups. The gaps between each were small, and the field came back together shortly after starting the last lap.
“We tried to set up Mel in the finish,” said McPartland. “She ran tenth. There was a split at the finish, and Shara finished in the second large group, 9” behind Vos.”
While McPartland has given each of his riders the option to race full gas in the tour ending time trial, his focus is firmly focused on the Australian individual time trial champion in a position to post a strong result on the general classification.
“Shara’s result tomorrow is obviously the most important for us,” McPartland said. “That’s the priority. Loes [Gunnewijk] should also do a good ride. She had an easy day today to rest her legs and ride for herself tomorrow.”