Van Vleuten fourth as Mitchelton-SCOTT protect the Maglia Rosa through stage seven of the Giro-RosaThu 11 Jul 2019
Today’s seventh stage saw no major changes to the general classification with race leader Annemiek van Vleuten finishing the day safely in fourth place, after trying to help teammate Amanda Spratt to the stage win in the final kilometre.
In the end it was Marianna Vos (CCC-Liv) who sprinted to victory on an uphill drag, with Van Vleuten holding on for fourth and maintaining her race lead, and Spratt finishing in 10th place after losing some ground in the closing metres.
Fast technical start
It was a hectic start to the day with multiple roundabouts, twists and turns and many riders trying to breakaway.
Despite constant attempts, no riders were given much freedom and the peloton remained together at a high pace as they began the climb through the finish line for the first time after 87kilometres.
After the climb, Leah Kirchmann (Team Sunweb) launched away from the group and successfully opened up a gap reaching 55seconds.
Second place finisher on stage two, Lucy Kennedy, sat at the head of the peloton patrolling the solo breakaway rider for Mitchelton-SCOTT, until she was caught with 10kilometres to go ahead of a narrow steep cobble climb.
Knowing the climb well, Kennedy and Spratt helped Van Vleuten into a good position at the bottom which proved to be crucial, as the race split and a small group of six-riders broke away.
Relaxed entering the final three-kilometres with the overall classificaiton safe, Van Vleuten got into position to pace Spratt up the final drag but as the race leader accelerated, Spratt lost Van Vleuten's wheel slightly, which forced her to slow with Vos taking full advantage to sprint ahead and to the stage win.
Van Vleuten heads into tomorrow's eighth stage with a four-minute eight-second lead over second place.
Annemiek van Vleuten
“I knew today was just about getting safely to the finish. I tried to set it up for my teammate Amanda Spratt in the last kilometre, she’s being doing a great job for me this week.
“Spratty lost my wheel a little bit in the final and then Marianna Vos showed how strong she was, but it was really nice to try something in the final to try and help her after all her work for me.
“Lucy and Spratty did a recon of the cobble climb so they really helped to position me well into that which was very important today. After the climb I encouraged Spratty to attack and go for it herself, she attacked twice but nobody would let her go.
“It was a good day for us, I was never in trouble, never in the front in the wind and never spending too much energy, but you have to stay focussed until the finish line and that’s what I really did with the team today."
Giro Rosa - Stage 7 Results:
1. Marianna Vos (CCC-Liv) 3:19:33
2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) ST
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) +0:03
4. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:03
General Classification after Stage 7:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 15:01:51
2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) +04:08
3. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) +4:23
Photos courtesy of Sara Cavallini