Jolien D'hoore (Mitchelton-Scott) won her second sprint stage in a row at the Giro Rosa on Monday. The Belgian said after the race that she kept her cool even when she lost contact to the peloton after the day's only classified climb.
"I was dropped on the climb, and I did not feel like I was having my best day today," she said. "But I never panicked because I heard heard on the radio that they were going slowly up front. I just kept riding, and we got back eventually. Once I see the finish, I get new legs, and I am really happy to get the victory today."
With two stage wins already in the bag, the focus on D'hoore's team now switches to the general classification. "We stayed together throughout the day to keep our leaders safe, and they feel good, so I hope for more team victories as we head into the mountains in the next days."
Canadian champion Leah Kirchmann (Team Sunweb) did not get to wear her maple leaf jersey on the stage - she was in the maglia rosa of the overall leader. After staying safe in the peloton throughout the stage, Kirchmann sprinted to fifth place to defend her lead.
"It was a special experience to wear the jersey today, and great to still have it tomorrow," Kirchmann said. "We want to keep it in the team for as long as possible. It was another really hot day, and there was a hard climb in the middle where the peloton split up for a while. I am a bit disappointed to only finish fifth after the team did such a fantastic effort controlling the race and setting me up for the sprint."
There was a big crash with about nine kilometres to go, and Canyon-SRAM was one of the teams that was hit the hardest as half of the team went down. Alena Amialiusik had to abandon, weakening Katarzyna Niewiadoma's support for the upcoming mountain stages.
The team's road captain Tiffany Cromwell described the situation in a post on her Instagram account. "Today did not really end up being our day. Nothing like a big crash at 55 km/h taking out half our team. I ended up with a few staples in my knee to close a deep cut and a bit of skin off, but luckily nothing too serious. So sad though to see my Belarusian friend end up with a broken shoulder. We will miss you!"
Another rider with bad luck on the day was Giorgia Bronzini. The Cylance veteran was especially motivated as the stage finished in her hometown, but could not contest the sprint in the end as she described to Sport Piacenza. "I was involved in the crash, but managed to get back and get on the right wheels. But then one of my spokes snapped with three kilometres to go. I had to change bikes, and that was it. It is a shame since the race gets very tough from tomorrow and there will not be many chances for a sprint."
The Giro Rosa continues on Tuesday with a stage of 122.6 km around Omegna.