Tiffany Cromwell (Canyon-SRAM) took a surprise win, and an early birthday gift to herself, on what had been dubbed 'the last sprint stage' of the Giro d'Italia Femminile on Tuesday. She won the group sprint in Lovere ahead of Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Lensworld-Zannata) and Aude Biannic (Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86).
"It was amazing," Cromwell said. "I thought I started my sprint too early but the team has put me in the best place at the best time. I have made the best birthday present to myself for tomorrow."
With the field finishing together, Evelyn Stevens (Boels-Dolmans) maintained her lead in the overall classification.
Stage 4 of the Giro d'Italia Femminile was one of the last opportunities for the sprinters. The 98.5km stage started in Costa Volpino and ended in Lovere, taking the peloton on a jaunt through the Lombardia region and along the Iseo Lake.
There was one small climb on route just after the women took off from Costa Volpino at the QOM Pianico, category 3, won by the Hungarian national champion Monika Kiraly (S.C. Michela Fanini), with Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle High5) in second place.
The riders then raced along the Val Cavallina until Trescore Balneario, then to Gorlago. But the race mainly stayed together for the ride to Lovere with Boels-Dolmans patrolling the front for their overall leader Stevens.
The women descended into the Village of Costa Mezzate, where the race flattened out toward Sarnico. The last 40km traced the east side of the Iseo Lake.
They contested an intermediate sprint in Sale Marasino at 71km, won by Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans), before the real test at the finish line in Lovere. The field came into the last 15 kilometres completely together for the highly anticipated bunch sprint. Boels-Dolmans and Wiggle High5 were the primary lead-out trains heading into the finale.
Cromwell is fast and strong in the classics, but generally not considered a bunch sprinter, typically leading out her teammates in the sprints. But she entered the finale in perfect position and proved to be the cagiest and fastest on the day in Lovere, making it the second win in a row for Australia after Wiggle High5's Chloe Hosking won the previous day.
"I'm super happy with this victory," Cromwell told Cyclingnews. "It's been a very long time between drinks and it's such a nice feeling to be back on the top step. I couldn't have done it without the support of my entire Canyon//SRAM racing team. They were amazing, they believed in me, gave me the opportunity and I'm just really happy I could finish off the job and reward them for their hard work today."
The climbers will have their day in the big mountains on Wednesday's stage 5 from Grosio to Tirano that passes over the Passo Mortirolo.
|#||Rider Name (Country) Team||Result|
|1||Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon SRAM Racing||2:02:24|
|2||Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-Zannata||Row 1 - Cell 2|
|3||Aude Biannic (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86||Row 2 - Cell 2|
|4||Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale' Cipollini||Row 3 - Cell 2|
|5||Michela Pavin (Ita) INPA - Bianchi||Row 4 - Cell 2|
|6||Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Astana Women's Team||Row 5 - Cell 2|
|7||Soraya Paladin (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo||Row 6 - Cell 2|
|8||Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Liv-Plantur||Row 7 - Cell 2|
|9||Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Cylance Pro Cycling||Row 8 - Cell 2|
|10||Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) Bepink||Row 9 - Cell 2|
|11||Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Astana Women's Team||Row 10 - Cell 2|
|12||Irene Bitto (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo||Row 11 - Cell 2|
|13||Lara Vieceli (Ita) INPA - Bianchi||Row 12 - Cell 2|
|14||Michela Balducci (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini||Row 13 - Cell 2|
|15||Ingrid Drexel (Mex) Astana Women's Team||Row 14 - Cell 2|
|16||Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||Row 15 - Cell 2|
|17||Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle High5||Row 16 - Cell 2|
|18||Daiva Tuslaite (Ltu) INPA - Bianchi||Row 17 - Cell 2|
|19||Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec Products||Row 18 - Cell 2|
|20||Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia Vaiano||Row 19 - Cell 2|
|21||Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||Row 20 - Cell 2|
|22||Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||Row 21 - Cell 2|
|23||Laura Camila Lozano Ramirez (Col) S.C. Michela Fanini||Row 22 - Cell 2|
|24||Roxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86||Row 23 - Cell 2|
|25||Séverine Eraud (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86||Row 24 - Cell 2|
|26||Natalya Saifutdinova (Kaz) Astana Women's Team||Row 25 - Cell 2|
|27||Ting Ying Huang (Chn) Servetto Footon||Row 26 - Cell 2|
|28||Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5||Row 27 - Cell 2|
|29||Annelies Dom (Bel) Lensworld-Zannata||Row 28 - Cell 2|
|30||Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||Row 29 - Cell 2|
|31||Scotti Lechuga (USA) Hagens Berman-Supoermint Pro Cycling Team||Row 30 - Cell 2|
|32||Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Hitec Products||Row 31 - Cell 2|
|33||Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies||Row 32 - Cell 2|
|34||Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City Ljubljana||Row 33 - Cell 2|
|35||Malgorzta Jasinska (Pol) Ale' Cipollini||Row 34 - Cell 2|
|36||Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon SRAM Racing||Row 35 - Cell 2|
|37||Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling Team||Row 36 - Cell 2|
|38||Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-Zannata||Row 37 - Cell 2|
|39||Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) Lointek||Row 38 - Cell 2|
|40||Lex Albrecht (Can) Bepink||Row 39 - Cell 2|
|41||Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (USA) Cylance Pro Cycling||Row 40 - Cell 2|
|42||Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle High5||Row 41 - Cell 2|
|43||Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||Row 42 - Cell 2|
|44||Anisha Vekemans (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies||Row 43 - Cell 2|
|45||Simona Frapporti (Ita) Hitec Products||Row 44 - Cell 2|
|46||Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro Cycling||Row 45 - Cell 2|
|47||Evelyn Stevens (USA) Boels Dolmans Cyclingteam||Row 46 - Cell 2|
|48||Katia Ragusa (Ita) Servetto Footon||Row 47 - Cell 2|