Riding is Life


Giro Donne stage 5 report: Niedermaier’s bold solo nets a first WorldTour win

Van Vleuten narrowly missed out on her second stage victory but held onto pink while Longo Borghini went down on the final descent, losing her place in the GC.

Antonia Niedermaier wins the Queen stage of Giro d’Italia Donne (Cor Vos © 2023)

The queen stage of the Giro Donne was the most dramatic of the week so far, with crashes and heartbreak balanced against the elation of a first-time professional victory. Antonia Niedermaier, the young German on Canyon-SRAM, attacked with roughly 30 km and carried herself all the way to the line to take stage victory, chased closely by general classification leader Annemiek van Vleuten. Niamh Fisher-Black led a chasing group in to take third on the stage almost a minute and a half later.

But where Niedermaier scored a fantastic victory, Lidl-Trek found only devastation. Stage 4 winner Elisa Longo Borghini crashed heavily on the final descent as she was chasing hard only three seconds behind Van Vleuten on the road. The Italian national champion, who was second place overall going into the stage, remounted but quickly lost ground and finished arm and arm with her teammate Shirin van Anrooij more than seven minutes down on the winner.

How it happened

Brief stage results

  1. Antonia Niedermaier (Canyon-SRAM) 3:14:02
  2. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Movistar) @ :09
  3. Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx) @ 1: 26
  4. Juliette Labous (DSM-Firmenich)
  5. Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) both same time

GC standings

  1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) 12:19:36
  2. Antonia Niedermaier (Canyon-SRAM) @ 2:07
  3. Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) @ 2:18
  4. Juliette Labous (DSM-Firmenich) @ 3:00
  5. Gaia Realini (Lidl-Trek) @ 3:14

Notes and analysis

Next up: stage 6

The sixth stage is far tamer than the fifth, with three Category 3 climbs, the final of which ends the stage, but there are no significant features before km 63.

All three of the climbs are short; the first is the longest at 5.6 km. While the second is only 2.5 km, it is steeper, averaging 7.3%. The final climb to the line is 2.8 km long and averages 5.6%, so not completely insignificant. The bottom of the final climb is the worst part, with grades of 9%, but the ascent flattens out near the top.

After a few hard days, it could finally be a day for the breakaway, but there are definitely some teams that will want to bring their quick women to the line. Marianne Vos, for one, will be keen to take her first victory at this year’s Giro and 33rd career victory at the Giro Donne.

We love to see it

Van Anrooij, leader of the UCI’s youth classification, rode to the finish with her team captain Longo Borghini following the Italian’s late race crash. After such a hard day on the bike for Longo Borghini, when it looked like she was going to go into the rest of the week fighting for the pink jersey, having a teammate who’s got your back is something worth smiling about.

After such a crash it’s always a weight off to see a rider finish the race. Hopefully, our Italian champion will be fighting for more wins soon.

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