Longo Borghini and Spratt roll the dice at Giro d’Italia Donne

COLICO ITALY JULY 07 Elisa Longo Borghini of Italy and Team Trek Segafredo in breakaway during the 32nd Giro dItalia Internazionale Femminile 2021 Stage 6 a 155km stage from Colico to Colico GiroDonne UCIWWT on July 07 2021 in Colico Italy Photo by Luc ClaessenGetty Images
Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) out the front on stage 6 of the Giro d'Italia Donne 2021 (Image credit: Getty Images sport)

Before this year’s Giro d’Italia Donne started it seemed almost inconceivable that Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) and Amanda Spratt (Team BikeExchange) would be in this position. The pair of riders – who have both twice placed on the podium in recent years – are sitting outside the top ten and, with little to lose, not playing the careful steady hand of a top GC contender but are instead prepared to roll the dice.

That helped make it an aggressive day of racing around the Lago di Como on stage 6, which appeared to be a day for the sprinters. However, instead of a relaxed procession toward an inevitable bunch sprint for the line, the 157 kilometre stage began at breakneck speed, covering 43.2 kilometres in the first hour and running 23 minutes ahead of the fastest schedule. Neither Trek-Segafredo or Team BikeExchange were prepared to sit back and just let the race easily play into the hands of the sprinters, instead diving in to try and fish out an against the odds stage win.

"We executed the plan we had in mind,” said Longo Borghini in a Twitter post. “We wanted a breakaway at halfway point and we played our chances, first with Ruth attacking and then with me."

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Simone Giuliani
Australia Editor

Simone is a degree-qualified journalist that has accumulated decades of wide-ranging experience while working across a variety of leading media organisations. She joined Cyclingnews as a Production Editor at the start of the 2021 season and has now moved into the role of Australia Editor. Previously she worked as a freelance writer, Australian Editor at Ella CyclingTips and as a correspondent for Reuters and Bloomberg. Cycling was initially purely a leisure pursuit for Simone, who started out as a business journalist, but in 2015 her career focus also shifted to the sport.