Shara Gillow Maintains Sixth Overall at Giro Rosa After Stage Six

Fri 5 Jul 2013

With one flat stage and a time trial left, stage six of the Giro Rosa offered the last chance for the climbers to reshape the overall. As the race headed north towards the Swiss border, the peloton faced another mountain top finish. On top of the 11km climb in San Domenico, Aussie climber Shara Gillow was the top finisher for ORICA-AIS in eighth place. Maglia rosa Mara Abbott (USA) scored her second consecutive stage win to further extend her lead on the rest of the peloton.  

Gillow finished 1’46 behind Abbott to maintain her sixth place overall. She now sits 4’50 behind the maglia rosa. Abbott leads the tour by 2’25 over Fabiana Luperini (Faren Let’s Go Honda).

Today’s stage started at an elevation of almost 800m and then quickly descended for the first 20km. The peloton was off to a fast start as it averaged almost 50kph in the first 30 minutes of racing.

A small group of four riders tried to escape in the opening kilometres, but the pace of the peloton was too much for the escapees to gain significant time. After the road flattened out and the speed of the peloton slowed, a new break of nine riders formed at the front of the race.

“After the initial descent, the original break was pulled back and then the roads were flat and boring for about 80km,” said Sport Director Dave McPartland. “Loes [Gunnewijk] went with the next break to make sure we had representation – that was it. No one in the break was a threat to the overall so her job was to help Shara and Tiff in any other way if the break made it to the climb.”

Controlling the pace of the peloton for Abbott, the US National team allowed the gap to the break to gain over two minutes on the peloton on the flat roads. As the break hit the final climb, the Americans had brought the gap down to a reasonable ask for the climbers to overtake the break on the climb.

Before the road kicked up to the finish, the ORICA-AIS squad put climbers Gillow and Tiffany Cromwell into position.

“The final climb was steep, long and hard,” said McPartland. “It wasn’t as narrow and rough as yesterday, but there was a hard section in the middle. It was another really hard climb and another solid ride by Shara.”

With the climbs done and dusted for the remainder of the tour, tomorrow’s flat stage is ripe for either a bunch sprint or a non-threatening break.

“We have Mel [Melissa Hoskins] for the sprint,” added McPartland. “I’d like to set something up for her, but we also have some girls here who can take the opportunity to go down the road. Our plan will be based on how they feel after today’s ride.”

Note: Fabiana Luperini has been disqualifed from the Giro Rosa over UCI Rule 1.3.109 stating "The minimum weight of the bicycle (in working order) shall be 6.800kg, considered without on board accessories in place, that is to say those items that can be removed during the event." Race officials weighed select bikes on stage six and found Luperini's to be too light, measuring in at 6.6kg. Luperini's exclusion moves Gillow to fifth place on the overall standings with two stages left to race.