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Vos wins Giro d'Italia Donne stage 3

The third and final stage of the Giro d’Italia Donne to take place on Sardinia saw the same podium as the previous stage with the roles reversed between Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) who won the stage ahead of Charlotte Kool (Team DSM), and Elisa Balsamo (Trek-Segafredo).

Riders faced a headwind down the finishing straight in Olbia which was a slight uphill drag. Vos launched early again, however, she managed to hold her speed all the way to the line and get the better of the maglia rosa as well as the Dutch sprinter from DSM. 

“Actually really good. Of course there was a breakaway but we also knew that there was going to be a big possibility that it was going to be brought back and then to be a bunch sprint,” said Vos after the stage.

“[It was] quite a technical final but the team delivered me to the perfect place but then still it was difficult to stay in the right position with the final corners. Then I stayed in the wheel of Romy Kasper and she put me in a really good spot and then of course after yesterday I wanted to try again and I’m very happy it worked out today.” 

“We are going to go to the mainland and we have a first ever rest day so I will enjoy that first and enjoy this victory and of course we will see in the next days what opportunities are coming up.” 

Elisa Balsamo retained her pink leader’s jersey, six seconds ahead of Vos and 12 seconds ahead of Georgia Baker (Team BikeExchange). 

How it unfolded

The second road stage of the race saw riders traverse further north on the island of Sardinia from Cala Gonone to Olbia in what looked set to be another sprint finish for the riders. 

The day’s race played out almost exactly like the previous. Early on in the stage three riders broke away, Marketa Hájková (Bepink), Asia Zontone (Isolmant-Premac-Vittoria), and Alice Palazzi (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) 

A chase group formed behind comprising Alessia Vigilia (Team Mendelspeck), Katia Ragusa (Liv Racing Xstra),  Jennifer Ducuara (Colombia Tierra de Atletas-GW-Shimano), Giorgia Vettorello (Bepink), Gemma Sernissi and Giulia Marchesini (Aromitalia - Basso Bikes - Vaiano), Lucía González (Bizkaia-Durango), and Alessia Missiaggia (Team Mendelspeck). 

With 44km to go the leading group had a gap of around three minutes while the chasers struggled to gain on them, hovering around a minute. 

In another repeat of the previous stage it was Trek-Segafredo who put their efforts into bringing the leaders back, controlling the race for their sprinter wearing the maglia rosa, Elisa Balsamo. 

At 10km to go the last of the breakaway was caught. Ragusa and Vigilia tried on final counter but were quickly reeled in by the charging peloton. 

With the peloton all together it was Team Jumbo-Visma, Team BikeExchange, and Team SD Worx, on the front taking up the pace-setting. With 5km to go Trek-Segafredo came up towards the front as well as Canyon-Sram.

Emilia Fahlin was also seen moving FDJ’s sprinter Clara Copponi into position, and with 4km to go Elena Cecchini of SD Worx took over with Romy Kasper of Jumbo Visma right behind. 

Approaching the 3km mark, it was Annemiek van Vleuten who took to the front for the team’s sprinter, Emma Norsgaard but the Danish sprinter was stuck at around 15th wheel. Norsgaard found her teammates just in time as Trek-Segafredo also started to move up again. 

Heading into the finishing straight it was almost a replay of the previous stage’s sprint as Vos, Balsamo, and Kool went head-to-head with one another. This time, however, Vos managed to out-sprint her rivals and claim a record 31st Giro Donne stage win with Kool in second and Balsamo third. 

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