The first ever hilltop finish of the race provided the climbers an opportunity to test their legs in the opening race of 2018, and for a rider like Anderson a chance to race against top 10 finishers from the Giro Rosa.
"It was pretty tough the wind kind of made the race and at the bottom of the climb I was already off the back so I didn't really know how I was going but I just kind of pushed through and it turned out not too bad for me," a delighted Anderson told Cyclingnews after pulling on the white jersey.
The 20-year-old raced the Santos Women's Tour in 2016, finishing outside the time limit on the opening stage. Two years on she finds herself within touching distance of the top-ten. Sitting 11th with two of four stages remaining and just three seconds off a top 10 finish, she could yet make further inroads on the general classification.
"It is such a cool opportunity for our team to come over here and it is really cool to be able to ride in the jersey even if it is only for a day," Anderson added of the importance of the opportunity for riders from New Zealand to experience this level of racing.
With no UCI races for women in New Zealand and only three in Australia, Anderson was thrilled with the opportunity to be able to race against some of the best in the world including reigning time trial world champion Annemiek Van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott), three time worlds medallist Katrin Garfoot (UniSA Australia) and dual world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Cylance Pro Cycling).
"We always try and make the most of opportunities especially when it is just over in Australia.
"It is really cool Cycling New Zealand put together a team and it gives us more experience so it is really awesome."
The young New Zealand national team comprises some of their top young riders, with all keen to impress in front of international teams. Even more so now they have a rider in a leader's jersey.
"Hopefully we can work together as a team and keep the jersey and we will see how that goes," she added.
Following the Australian summer of racing Anderson will head to the United States to race with Team Illuminate, along with national teammate Mikayla Harvey and Georgia Catterick.