Women's team give Mitchelton-SCOTT their first Grand Tour victory at the Giro-RosaSun 15 Jul 2018
World time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten has made history for Mitchelton-SCOTT today, winning the final stage and securing the most prestigious women’s Tour on the calendar, the Giro-Rosa, for the first time in the team’s seven-year history.
The Australian outfit dominated the 10-day race to finish first and third overall with van Vleuten and Australian Amanda Spratt, claiming six of the ten stage victories with three different riders, as well as taking the mountain and points jerseys home.
Pretty in Pink
After switching their focus to general classification last year, Mitchelton-SCOTT women set the Giro Rosa’s pink jersey as the number one goal for the season.
The outfit set out with joint leaders in van Vleuten and Spratt, with Spratt taking the race lead after a stage six victory. A 15km uphill time trial the following day suited van Vleuten and the jersey swapped hands between the teammates following stage seven.
Already with a handy lead before yesterday’s penultimate and Queen stage, van Vleuten extended her grip with a stunning solo victory up Monte Zoncolan.
The 35-year-old backed up with a third victory today to secure the biggest win of her career and an important milestone for Mitchelton-SCOTT.
Mitchelton-SCOTT on a mission
Belgian Jolien D’hoore began the team’s winning ways, claiming two stage wins on the third and fourth day in sprint finishes.
On the sixth stage, the first general classification test, Spratt attacked and took classy solo win to move into Maglia Rosa.
Van Vleuten dominated on an uphill time trial on stage seven, the first of three stage victories before going on to win on Monte Zoncolan and today's final stage.
In addition to the team’s first and third overall and six stage victories, van Vleuten added the points' jersey to her collection along with Spratt winning the mountains' jersey.
Today's display of dominance
Van Vleuten headed into the tenth and final stage with a hard-to-beat three-minute 35second lead over her nearest rival on the general classification, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla).
A breakaway of 13riders animated the early part of the day before being reeled in ahead of the final climb.
Moolman-Pasio was the first to attack on the final climb, however, the Mitchelton-SCOTT riders followed closely with van Vleuten stamping her authority on the race, counter attacking her teammate Spratt, in a move which was too strong for anybody to follow.
Annemiek van Vleuten - 2018 Giro-Rosa winner
“This is a dream come true, not only for me, but for the whole team. We prepared so well for this race and to win six stages, the overall and three jerseys and do it in this way racing with confidence and control it’s a super story for the team.”
“Especially because before I thought that I would never win the Giro-Rosa. My first one was in 2010 and I always thought that I am not a climber, so it won’t happen, but yesterday to win on the Zoncolan and then today to win the GC, it’s very special.
“Today’s stage win wasn’t premeditated, it just happened out there on the road, I felt that it was good to attack on the climb and carry some speed into the descent. It’s no secret that attack is the best form of defence and that was me defending the jersey. I felt good on the climb and it’s special to wrap up the GC by winning the last stage.”
Amanda Spratt - Third place overall
“We came here wanting to win the Giro-Rosa as a team and Annemiek has done it and it is really thanks to the entire team. The riders, the staff, everyone has worked so hard for this, it’s giving me goosebumps to see how well we have all worked together.”
Martin Vestby - Sport director
"It has been a real team performance this week, the team has stepped up in all areas and it all came together for this Giro-Rosa. There was a lot of preparation going into the race, we did a lot of recon and a lot of work to make sure everybody was ready. I think that is why we can see this big step up and how we have been able achieve this much.
"Our leaders have been so strong and the whole team in general has been stronger than we could have expected, so everybody can be very happy and proud of what we did this week."
Giro-Rosa stage 10 results:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 3:24
2. Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) +0:27
3. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) ST
Giro-Rosa overall general classification:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 25:50
2. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla) +4:12
3. Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-SCOTT) +6:30
Photos courtesy of Getty Images