Rider Reactions: The 2019 Giro-Rosa to conquer the Passio di Gavia

Tue 27 Nov 2018

2018 Giro-Rosa winner Annemiek van Vleuten and third place finisher Amanda Spratt are pleased to hear the latest news that one of their biggest goals for 2019, the 10day Giro-Rosa will feature a summit finish atop the iconic ‘Passo di Gavia.`

After conquering the mighty Zoncolon earlier this season, the Mitchelton-SCOTT duo are pleased to see more famous and brutal climbs added to the women’s tour, making it a real battle for the overall title and continued progression in women's cycling.

Annemiek van Vleuten - 1st 2018 Giro-Rosa

“I was very happy to hear the news that the Gavia will be in the Giro-Rosa next year, I know the climb very well because I always go for altitude training in Livingnio which is very near. I think have have ridden it about ten times and it is usually at the end of my long training after six hours, and it is super high so you will feel the altitude there. It is very special to climb it in an race and especially to finish up there.

“I am very happy the organisers are taking women’s cycling very serious, they always do in the Giro-Rosa, I think it was already in 2010 we finished at the top of the Stelvio and as a rider that just started my career, that was something I will not forget very easily. It makes the Giro something special to finish on an epic, iconic climb. It think it is very good from the organisers and for the progression of women’s cycling.

"I am always super motivated to come back but it makes me even more excited to set some goals again to win the Giro and winning last year on the Zoncolon was so cool. It is very good for women’s cycling to add a climb that everybody knows, it gives more body to the tour. 

The ten day race will run once again in July, from 5th to the 14th, however the full route is yet to be announced next March, after dominating in the 2018 edition, Van Vleuten has some stages she hopes to see on the route list.

“For next year on my wish list is another uphill time time, I would not mind that but also a flat time trail, maybe that is even better for me because usually you can get rid of more of the climbers. For sure if they add a TT and if I can ride there in my rainbow jersey that would be very nice and also a prologue to start the Giro is always nice. It was good this year to start with a team time trial, it really emphasises that it is a team performance."

“My recovery has been going very well, eight-days ago was the first time I could go back on the bike with click in pedals and now I am slowly progressing and I am thinking in two weeks to go to the sun and start a bit more my proper training.”

Amanda Spratt - 3rd 2018 Giro-Rosa

“When I read the news of the Gavia being one of the finishes of the Giro-Rosa next year I was just really excited. There is so much history on that climb and it is such an iconic climb, I can’t wait to race up it. 

“I do think it’s great that the organisers include these really tough and hard stages. The Giro is the only Grand Tour that we have, so I think it’s important that it has a good combination of all different types of stages and the really hard climbing stages like the Gavia will really show who the strongest riders and climbers in the race are.

“Reading this news makes me extra excited for next season. I have some really big goals and some new projects as well but it’s no secret that the Giro will be one of them. As a team we will once again target the win there so it gives me a lot of motivation to already hear about such an exciting stage. I know with the team we are capable of achieving great things there.

“The altitude will definitely be a factor in this stage. The Gavia is not far from where I base myself at altitude so I have ridden the climb before and I know I will be able to train on the climb more beforehand. It’s gives me a lot of motivation for my training camps next season.”

The Gavia

Where: Italy
When: Women’s 2019 Giro-Rosa 5-14th July
Top altitude: 2,621 metres
Bormio side: 25km, average 5% gradient
Ponte di Legno side: 18.9km, average 8% gradient 
First featured in the men’s Giro d’Italia: 1960

Photo courtesy of Getty Images