Giro Rosa: Cromwell wins stage 4 in Lovere

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.

Full Results

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#Rider Name (Country) TeamResult
1Tiffany Cromwell (Aus) Canyon SRAM Racing2:02:24
2Maria Giulia Confalonieri (Ita) Lensworld-ZannataRow 1 - Cell 2
3Aude Biannic (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86Row 2 - Cell 2
4Marta Bastianelli (Ita) Ale' CipolliniRow 3 - Cell 2
5Michela Pavin (Ita) INPA - BianchiRow 4 - Cell 2
6Arianna Fidanza (Ita) Astana Women's TeamRow 5 - Cell 2
7Soraya Paladin (Ita) Top Girls Fassa BortoloRow 6 - Cell 2
8Leah Kirchmann (Can) Team Liv-PlanturRow 7 - Cell 2
9Sheyla Gutierrez Ruiz (Spa) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 8 - Cell 2
10Ilaria Sanguineti (Ita) BepinkRow 9 - Cell 2
11Sofia Bertizzolo (Ita) Astana Women's TeamRow 10 - Cell 2
12Irene Bitto (Ita) Top Girls Fassa BortoloRow 11 - Cell 2
13Lara Vieceli (Ita) INPA - BianchiRow 12 - Cell 2
14Michela Balducci (Ita) S.C. Michela FaniniRow 13 - Cell 2
15Ingrid Drexel (Mex) Astana Women's TeamRow 14 - Cell 2
16Megan Guarnier (USA) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 15 - Cell 2
17Giorgia Bronzini (Ita) Wiggle High5Row 16 - Cell 2
18Daiva Tuslaite (Ltu) INPA - BianchiRow 17 - Cell 2
19Lauren Kitchen (Aus) Hitec ProductsRow 18 - Cell 2
20Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu) Aromitalia VaianoRow 19 - Cell 2
21Thalita De Jong (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 20 - Cell 2
22Lucinda Brand (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 21 - Cell 2
23Laura Camila Lozano Ramirez (Col) S.C. Michela FaniniRow 22 - Cell 2
24Roxane Fournier (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86Row 23 - Cell 2
25Séverine Eraud (Fra) Poitou-Charentes.Futuroscope.86Row 24 - Cell 2
26Natalya Saifutdinova (Kaz) Astana Women's TeamRow 25 - Cell 2
27Ting Ying Huang (Chn) Servetto FootonRow 26 - Cell 2
28Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita) Wiggle High5Row 27 - Cell 2
29Annelies Dom (Bel) Lensworld-ZannataRow 28 - Cell 2
30Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 29 - Cell 2
31Scotti Lechuga (USA) Hagens Berman-Supoermint Pro Cycling TeamRow 30 - Cell 2
32Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Hitec ProductsRow 31 - Cell 2
33Sofie De Vuyst (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 32 - Cell 2
34Polona Batagelj (Slo) BTC City LjubljanaRow 33 - Cell 2
35Malgorzta Jasinska (Pol) Ale' CipolliniRow 34 - Cell 2
36Trixi Worrack (Ger) Canyon SRAM RacingRow 35 - Cell 2
37Anna Van Der Breggen (Ned) Rabo Liv Women Cycling TeamRow 36 - Cell 2
38Alice Maria Arzuffi (Ita) Lensworld-ZannataRow 37 - Cell 2
39Alicia Gonzalez Blanco (Spa) LointekRow 38 - Cell 2
40Lex Albrecht (Can) BepinkRow 39 - Cell 2
41Kristabel Doebel-Hickok (USA) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 40 - Cell 2
42Chloe Hosking (Aus) Wiggle High5Row 41 - Cell 2
43Karol-Ann Canuel (Can) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 42 - Cell 2
44Anisha Vekemans (Bel) Lotto Soudal LadiesRow 43 - Cell 2
45Simona Frapporti (Ita) Hitec ProductsRow 44 - Cell 2
46Rossella Ratto (Ita) Cylance Pro CyclingRow 45 - Cell 2
47Evelyn Stevens (USA) Boels Dolmans CyclingteamRow 46 - Cell 2
48Katia Ragusa (Ita) Servetto FootonRow 47 - Cell 2
49Nicol