GIRO DONNE – PIGEONS’ UPDATE – STAGE2!
Day 2 at the Giro Donne, and another sprint stage. This one included a climb in the first half, but although Grete Treier from SC Michela Fanini broke away and solo-ed off through the heat, the peloton weren’t going to let her get too far away, so once they were ready, they ate her up.
It was a hot, fast finish, marred by a huge crash – a motorbike pulled out in front of Cervélo’s Kirsten Wild, and although Wild avoided falling, she couldn’t contest the sprint – and a whole load of riders, including GC contenders Emma Pooley and Claudia Häusler from Cervélo, Tatiana Guderzo and Monia Baccaile (Valdarno) and Team Australia’s Kirsty Broun. Worst affected was Lotto’s sprinter Rochelle Gilmore, who was taken to hospital as a precaution after the stage – luckily she’s ok, just bruised and scratched.
The sprint itself was hard and fast, and yet again won by HTC’s Ina-Yoko Teutenberg ahead of Giorgia Bronzini (Gauss) and Marianne Vos (Nederland National Team). Ina has had an amazing season – this is her 17th win so far, and she’s looking incredibly hard to beat. She starts tomorrow in the Maglia Rosa again, but I can’t see her finishing in it – it’s the Time Trial stage tomorrow, and we’ll see some small gaps open up. It’s 17km, the longest ITT in the Giro Donne since 2003, and my bet for teams to watch are Cervélo and the Netherlands – I’m not sure it’s hilly enough for Pooley, but her team-mates excel at these flat races. Amber Neben, of Team USA, could also be good – we’ll see what happens. Stage 4 will be pancake flat again, so there’s a good chance of seeing Ina win again there, before we start getting lumpy, and the women who like the uphill will be more than ready to stretch their legs…