Neylan strong in tough day out for ORICA-AIS at Giro Rosa

Sun 5 Jul 2015

2015 Cadel Evans Classic champion Rachel Neylan has finished as ORICA-AIS’ top rider on the second stage of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile.

Neylan came into the finish at the head of the first main group for tenth position, one-minute 47seconds behind Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans CT) who claimed the stage from an eight rider move to move into the race lead.

On a hot day, three late climbs took a toll on the peloton, the Australian outfit amongst those caught out.

“It was a really great ride by Rachel to be there in the front but I won’t lie, it was a pretty rough day for the team today,” sport director Gene Bates said. “We had high hopes going into the stage and we thought it might have been a little bit easier than it was in the end.”

“It ended up being a pretty decisive day for the overall. We really saw the general classification riders come to the front at the finish.”

Bates said the team won’t make any rash decisions with the early aspirations for a general classification focus for Katrin Garfoot, but suggested it was likely the team would put more effort into stage wins

“We will see what the overall standings are and where Kat is placed,” Bates said. “We will probably move towards more of a stage focus, which really was the main of our objectives coming into the race anyway.”

“The girls will bounce back hard, they have been through tougher days than this in the past six months and I’m confident we will see some great riding in the next couple of days.”

The stage two 121.5km journey from Gaiarine to San Fior was characterised by three climbs in the last half of racing.

On the first climb, two leaders – Flavia Oliveira Ale Cipollini) and Carlee Taylor (Lotto Soudal Ladies) -attacked and gained some distance.

The pair gained almost two minutes advantage before a crash on a descent for Taylor saw her drop from the front and the gap begin to fade.

With 20km to go a chase group had bridged and dropped Oliveira, leaving a group of nine riders with a comfortable advantage to ensure they would contest the finale.