Scandolara impressive for sixth in opening Giro Rosa prologue

Fri 3 Jul 2015

Italian Valentina Scandolara has put in an impressive performance to finish sixth in the opening prologue of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile, the only women’s Grand Tour of the year, this evening.

Scandolara finished just three seconds down on winner Anna van Vleuten (Bigla Cycling), who stopped the clock on the short and sharp two-kilometre course in a time of two-minutes 48seconds.

Not usually known for her time trial results, Scandolara’s performance still didn’t surprise sport director Gene Bates who knew the 25-year-old would be motivated in her home race.

“It’s the Giro.” Bates explained about the performance that earned Scandolara the best Italian rider for the stage. “She finds a new level. I think all of the Italian’s find a new level this week.”

“Valentina loves this race and it’s one of the main reason why we are here – this is the biggest women’s Tour on the calendar and we have an Italian in the team so it’s natural for us to be here and to be motivated.

“The course also suited her to a tee. It was very technical with two U-turns in two-kilometres so being the small and punchy rider that she is, that really played into her hands.”

2015 Oceania time trial champion Katrin Garfoot finished 11th, six seconds down on the leader, to put her in a strong position in the general classification battle heading into the first road stage tomorrow.

“Both Kat and Lizzie (Williams) had great rides I thought,” Bates said. “They were right around the mark.”

“They were probably just not quite powerful enough over the distance for today but that’s OK, it’s a ten-day race and there is plenty to be done yet.

“In terms of going forward for Kat, she is probably just ahead of some of the girls that we are expecting to be in overall contention and I think she is just happy to get it out of the way now. There is always the risk of a crash or a silly little mistake where you can lose a lot of time, but now we can get on with the road racing.”