Italian Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) took her second career Giro Donne stage ahead of Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) and Ally Wollaston (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step) on the final day of the race. Despite two climbs that offered favorable prospects for a breakaway, the sprinters teams were keen to keep the peloton in one piece for a fast final stage of the 2023 edition.
The top rider of the race, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) finished safely in the bunch, securing her fourth Giro Donne overall victory in her final season as a professional cyclist. The Dutch rider won three stages and was close to untouchable throughout the race; second-place finisher Juliette Labous was nearly four minutes behind.
How it happened
- For the ninth time in as many stages, the breakaway was a doomed affair. Despite even Liane Lippert, teammate of the overall leader, trying to go on the attack, no one was let off the leash and the stage came down to a sprint. Other riders who tried to get away included: Anna Kiesenhofer (Israel Premier Tech), the Toyko 2020 Olympic road race champion, and Top Girls Fasso Bortolo’s Alessia Vigilia.
- On both of the categorized climbs some of the general classification top 10 tried their hand including Niamh Fisher-Black (SD Worx) and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ-Suez). Both moves were closely matched by the peloton.
- Uno-X was a huge part of the leadout to the line, as was Canyon-SRAM. The first to kick was Liv Racing Teqfind’s Rachele Barbieri. The Italian went early to start the action and the rest had to follow. But Consonni was out and out the fastest of the bunch and took the win convincingly.
Brief stage results
- Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) 3:19:33
- Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma)
- Ally Wollaston (AG Insurance-Soudal Quick-Step)
- Chloe Dygert (Canyon-SRAM)
- Megan Jastrab (DSM-Firmenich) all same time
- Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) 24:26:25
- Juliette Labous (DSM-Firmenich) @ 3:56
- Gaia Realini (Lidl-Trek) @ 4:23
- Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) @ 5:34
- Erica Magnaldi (UAE Team ADQ) @ same time
Notes and analysis
- The stage took place in brutal heat, with recorded temperatures around 40°C/104°F.
- It was the final race after 18 years of professional cycling for Marta Bastianelli, and the only way it could have been a better send-off was if she’d won the stage herself. Still, there was a certain beauty in the next generation taking the win with Bastianelli guiding the ship.
- It was also the final Giro Donne stage for the pink jersey winner Van Vleuten, and it was a bit emotional. For the last eight years, Van Vleuten has been in the fight for pink. Starting in 2017 the Giro has been Van Vleuten’s stomping ground. Only three times has she not won it; on one occasion, in 2020, she crashed on the seventh stage while in the pink jersey and was forced to abandon. In 2021 she didn’t race and instead focused on the Olympic Games, and in 2017, her first attempt at overall victory, she finished third behind Anna van der Breggen and Elisa Longo Borghini. It’ll definitely be a shock to the system when she doesn’t line up in 2024, but we will have a new host of general classification hopefuls to focus on and that’s something to look forward to.
- Now the women shift their focus to the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift in a few weeks. Some will not attempt the double, but Van Vleuten for example will return to altitude in her second home of Livigno to prepare to battle against Demi Vollering in the final “Grand Tour” of her career.
- The last time Vos competed in the Giro and didn’t win a stage was in 2006, and even that year she finished second overall. In 2011, for example, she won five stages, finished second on two, third on one and won the overall (take that, everyone who complains about Van Vleuten and SD Worx dominance).
- Finishing second overall was a massive achievement for Labous, who will take a lot of confidence into her home Tour in just a few weeks. The DSM-Firmenich rider won the Vuelta a Burgos in 2022 and the only mountaintop stage of the 2022 Giro, but has had a less dreamy start to the 2023 season. This result is a big step for the Frenchwoman.
- In that vein; third overall will be a huge boost for Gaia Realini, who finished 13th overall in 2022 before joining Lidl-Trek this season.
Our favorite moments
Quote(s) of the day
It may be Consonni’s first year on UAE Team ADQ but the Italian national team is quite close, often rocking up to the World Championships with the second strongest team in the race behind the Dutch, and definitely better at organizing their talent. For Consonni, being a teammate with a legend like Bastianelli is a career highlight, and to be teammates with her is something really special.
“This is for Marta, because today is her last stage and I am really happy to share with her and all the girls of the team this feeling and this emotion.”Consonni after the stage
Bastianelli wasn’t the only rider with a career milestone at the Giro. The 2023 edition was Van Vleuten’s last Giro Donne. When asked what her favourite memory of the race was, the Dutchwoman had everyone in tears.
“All the years. I think it was my first year  when I was riding with Marianne Vos for the Dutch national selection we had to finish on the Stelvio and that was the moment I fell in love with the Giro and with Italy.”Annemiek van Vleuten on her best memories from the Giro Donne
Can someone please pass the tissues? Sheesh.
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