Giro Donne Stage 1: Race cancelled due to heavy rain

Many of the race favourites had already gone before the jury pulled the plug on stage 1 of the Giro Donne.

Elynor Backstedt pictured during the first stage of the Giro d’Italia Donne (Cor Vos © 2023)

Things were looking pretty good for Jayco-AlUla’s Letizia Paternoster in the opening stage of the 2023 Giro Donne, but with rain cascading down the race jury made the call to cancel the 4.4 km long time trial with 87 riders still to go.

The course prior to cancellation proved treacherous, with multiple riders including Mavi García (third overall in 2022) and stage favourite Chloe Dygert both going down. Dygert’s team tweeted their leader had made it to the finish as the provisional leader despite the crash, so luckily it looks as though the American national champion came out of the impact unscathed. With the weather predicted to worsen later in the day most of the general classification or stage favourites started early, including defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten.

As the rain worsened the race paused, started again, and then was forced to halt when water started to pool on the roads and debris made the conditions even more dangerous. Since the majority of the peloton didn’t get to start the results were nullified and no jerseys were handed out.

Chloe Dygert goes down in the opening stage of the 2023 Giro Donne but was able to finish with a fast provisional time until the racing was suspended and the stage cancelled. Photo © Cor Vos

Prior to the decision to cancel, Paternoster sat first overall, .00,01 of a second ahead of defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten, who was tied on time with Jumbo-Visma’s Marianne Vos.

The cancellation of the first stage majorly impacts how the second stage will be raced. With a 16 km-long climb just 15 km from the finish, the sprinters will be able to smell the pink jersey, but so will those looking to get into a move on the climb. One thing is for sure; hopefully, it’s sunny skies from here on out for the women.

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