World time trial champion Annemiek van Vleuten showed her pure class once again today to take a consecutive stage victory on day six, an individual time trial at the Giro-Rosa.
Wearing the Maglia Rosa and starting the stage with a two-minute 16 second advantage overall, the Dutch time trial champion stormed through the 12.1-kilometre stage to finish with a time of 24 minutes 31 seconds, 52 seconds fastest than her nearest rival.
Van Vleuten now heads into the seventh stage with a large margin of four-minutes and 17 seconds ahead of second place Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans).
The day was one for the climbers and time trial specialists with 12.1 kilometres of gradual uphill roads to contend with. Silvia Valsecchi (Team BePink) set the first tough time to beat with a time of 27 minutes 28 seconds before Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) came past with a time 17seconds faster and from then on the best time continued to be beaten.
As Van Vleuten drew closer to the finish line the time to beat was 25minutes 24seconds set by Van der Breggen. Passing her one-minute woman, Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) on the line, it was clear that Van Vleuten had a strong ride.
Displaying her dominance in the discipline, she eventually beat the world road race champion Van der Breggen’s time by 53 seconds in the 12.1-kilometre event.
Mitchelton-SCOTT now head into the final four-stages taking confidence with a nice buffer of over four-minutes but with some very challenging stages still to come.
Annemiek van Vleuten: “I’ve worked so hard for this, I’ve been training with the guys, training at altitude and I’m super prepared with my team.
“It wasn’t as long or as brutal as last year so I knew I couldn’t take as much time today but to almost take one-minute in 12.1 kilometres it is quite a lot.
“Every year I target the Giro, since 2017, I learn new things and I try to take it into the next year and so after two-years of targeting I have become an ‘alien’ as they now say.
“We will take it day by day and I will need to stay super focussed until Sunday. I did a recon of the stages so I know what is coming up and it’s not easy, especially the next three-days but my teammates are very strong.
“Amanda Spratt and Lucy Kennedy are really strong uphill and I also have three engines for the flat so I am confident we can do this.”
Giro-Rosa Stage 6 Results:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 24:31
2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) +0:52
3. Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) +1:48
General Classification results after stage 6:
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-SCOTT) 11:42:15
2. Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) +4:17
3. Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) +4:17