ORICA-AIS through toughest stage of 2015 Giro Rosa

Thu 9 Jul 2015

ORICA-AIS has comfortably made it through the toughest day of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile today.

With three challenging climbs throughout the 102km sixth stage, the Australian outfit opted to conserve energy for opportunities that lie ahead.

“It was more of a survival day for the girls today,” sport director Gene Bates said. “It was the hardest stage of the Tour and we really didn’t have anyone on general classification to ride for.”

“It was more a case of sitting back and hoping the general classification riders go really deep today and we can take advantage of that over the next three stages.

“The girls did well to get through. It was super hot again today but they all got to the finish OK and as fresh as possible.”

With two road stages and a time trial to come in the only women’s Grand Tour, Bates is confident the team will finish strongly.

“We will look to be among the action over the next two days and definitely the last stage,” Bates said.

“I think we have nothing to lose tomorrow. It’s a good stage, a bit of up and down, and hopefully the general classification teams start looking at each other a little bit.

“Then the time trial, Kat (Garfoot) has had an eye on that for a little while now so we will see how she recovers in the next 24hrs and she will be keen to really have a crack at that.”

Tackling today’s tough stage head on, the pace was on right from the flag as the peloton approached the first climb.

Five riders formed a break off the front and were shortly joined by another to make a move of six, whilst many lost contact from behind on the ascent. By the top, the six had around one-minute advantage and the peloton was only 30riders strong.

At the top of the second climb, around 50km into racing, the lead had extended to two minutes but on the descent and channel to the final climb, the race lit up and changed completely.

The chase was caught by two riders, and shortly after were joined by a small group containing the maglia rosa.

From that group Mayuko Hagiwara (Wiggle Honda) attacked and survived to the line for an impressive solo victory.