Van Vleuten climbs to second and helps Spratt move up to third overall on the penultimate stage ofSat 13 Jul 2019
Today’s penultimate stage of the Giro-Rosa saw race leader Annemiek van Vleuten climb to second place on a hard summit finish in Malga Montasio, after attacking early on, in an attempt to help teammate Amanda Spratt move up in the overall standings.
Van Vleuten’s move forced some of the general classification contenders to drop off the pace which allowed Spratt to climb to fourth place on the stage, and move up to third in the overall standings with just one stage to go tomorrow.
In the final kilometres, as the road ramped up reaching 19% gradients at times, it was another great battle between Van Vleuten and Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) for the stage victory.
The world time trial champion led the race solo after attacking again with four-kilometres to go, but Van der Breggen clawed her way back and passed the Mitchelton-SCOTT rider inside the final kilometre to steal the stage win.
In the opening kilometres seven-riders took their opportunity and broke away from the main bunch, quickly opening up a lead of over one and a half minutes.
With a flat start in the valley, Mitchelton-SCOTT were happy to see the group go and remained in the main bunch protecting race leader Van Vleuten.
The climb to Montasio
As soon as the road really began to kick up, Van Vleuten made her move, putting pressure on the rest of the peloton.
Naturally the bunch split with the climbers coming forward and only Van der Breggen and Spratt initially able to follow the acceleration.
The final stage
Van Vleuten now heads into tomorrow’s final stage of the Giro-Rosa with an overall lead of three-minutes and 50seconds over her nearest rival, with teammate Spratt in third place.
Annemiek van Vleuten
“I attacked early because I wanted to try and help my teammate Amanda Spratt to get on the podium overall. I wanted to make it hard to try and drop Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) and Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb), so I'm happy to that worked and we achieved that.
“It was a beautiful and hard climb and a great fight for the stage win. I gave everything I had, I died completely in the last kilometre, I went completely to the maximum today. I’m still in pink and that’s the most important thing.
“Of course we would have liked the stage win but Anna van der Breggen showed she was stronger, but for the stage win I should have attacked later. I attacked already with 11kilometres to go and it was a headwind so they had it a bit more easier on my wheel but to hear Spratt moved herself up to the podium took away any disappointment of getting second.
“Amanda has been so supportive everyday so it’s great that she’s got herself onto the podium after today's stage.”
Giro-Rosa Stage 9 Results:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) 3:26:27
2. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +0:17
3. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv) +1:38
General Classification after stage 9:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 22:09:39
2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) +3:50
3. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +7:00
Photos courtesy of Getty Images