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Kopecky throws her arms wide as she crosses the finish line first

Giro Women stage 5 report: Kopecky wins sprint, gains valuable seconds in GC

Longo Borghini leads the GC by only three seconds ahead of a challenging sixth stage.

Abby Mickey
by Abby Mickey 11.07.2024 Photography by
Cor Vos
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Lotte Kopecky sprinted to her first stage win of this year’s Giro d’Italia Women, with a brilliant lead-out from her SD Worx-Protime teammates. The world champion got the better of stage 2 winner Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) who finished second and Movistar’s Arlenis Sierra in third.

By winning the stage Kopecky also shortened her overall gap to the pink jersey by 10 seconds. Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) finished safely in the bunch and held onto her overall lead, but will start the sixth stage with only three seconds advantage on Kopecky.

Stage 5 Top 10

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How it happened

GC Top 10

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Longo Borghini waves to the crowd on the startline of the Giro's fifth stage
Elisa Longo Borghini pictured at the start of the fifth Giro stage in Frontone.

Brief analysis

Quote of the Day

It was one of the best lead-outs I’ve ever had. When I passed [Guarischi] she already said ‘yes.’

Kopecky on the final sprint

She also alluded that the sixth stage would be a hard one, similar to the fourth stage where the breakaway got the better of the bunch.

What’s next?

Stage 6: San Benedetto del Tronto to Chieti (155 km)

Date: Friday, July 12
Stage type: Long and draining 
Summary: Not a single section of flat road from start to finish, it might as well be a hilly circuit.

Not only is the sixth stage the longest of this year’s Giro at 155 km, it is also relentless. The stage has three Cat 3 ascents with a bunch of uncategorized climbing in between; every climb with take that much more out of the legs and there’s still one final climb to the finish.

To write down every climb on this stage would take forever, and you wouldn’t want to read it all anyway, trust me. It all starts only 13 km into the stage with a short, uncategorized, but brutally steep kicker that averages 10% and maxes out at 15%. From there there’s a 10 km gradual climb that kind of stair-steps before descending briefly into two more short ascents.

This takes us into the first categorized climb of the day, a 9.7 km climb averaging 3.9% and maxing out at 10%. This climb descends into another two shorter climbs before the next official climb of 6.6 km, 4.3% average and 8.7% max. One more kicker stands between this “penultimate” climb and the final, 3 km long, 7.5% average, 11.5% maximum gradient ascent to the line.

There is a further 2.8 km to ride before the finish after the final climb tops out, so it’s not really a hilltop finish but it’s close.

This day is going to be brutal. With two real summit-finish stages still to come, it is the best chance a breakaway has at succeeding. Teams of the GC favourites might want to conserve as much energy as possible at this stage, which will be a challenge given the length and terrain. Breakaway specialists will be bookmarking this stage, as chasing will be difficult even if teams want to put in that effort.

That being said, it really depends on what’s happening in the GC at this point. If it’s still close, and there are riders who are feeling really good, even with Blockhaus looming on Saturday, every stage is an opportunity to take time or put rivals under pressure.

Originally published in our stage-by-stage preview here.

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