Annemiek van Vleuten proved why she is the world time trial champion today by dominating the stage seven uphill time trial in theGiro-Rosa, crossing the line two minutes and 28seconds ahead of her nearest rival to win the stage and move into the overall race lead.
The Mitchelton-SCOTT rider used her knowledge of the course to pace her effort well and continuously take time out of her rivals with each kilometre that passed.
The only way is up
The gruelling stage left no place to hide with 15kilometres of uphill road which saw huge time gaps at the finish line in Alte Gera di Campo Moro.
It took a while before any riders could beat the 50minute mark. General classification hopeful Elisa Longo-Borghi (Wiggle-High5) was the first to do so with a time of 49minutes 34seconds.
Intermediate time check
As the third to last rider to start, van Vleuten passed the half-way time check with a time of 23minutes 13seconds, 44seconds quicker than her one of her main rivals Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervelo-Bigla).
However, van Vleuten didn’t ease off the pedals and continued to push for the final eight kilometres, constantly gaining time on the other stage contenders, to eventually cross the line with a huge margain over the rest.
Stage 6 winner Amanda Spratt also rode a strong time trial, finishing in fifth place on the stage to stay in contention overall, now in second place overall, two minutes and 53seconds behind her teammate.
Annemiek van Vleuten – Stage 7 winner
“It was super, super hard today, but I put a lot of effort into this time trial with my team. We did a solid recon a long time ago and decided it was a bit of an unconventional course for the TT bike, but I think no matter what bike I used I had good legs today and that’s what I needed for this course.”
“I felt really good in my rainbow colours, I’m not sure of the time gap, but I gave it everything out there and I was completely empty at the finish, but also super happy.
“After yesterday’s stage I was full of confidence today and I feel really good and it’s great all the hard work paid off. We’re focused on the task in hand and we are taking it day by day, there is the Zoncolan coming up and it’s a very hard climb, but we are riding very well and we can continue with confidence.”
Amanda Spratt – 2nd place on GC
“The course was brutal today, it was such a hard climb and I really tried to pace myself over the first part and then pick it up in the second part, but it was so hard and such a long climb.”
“I am still feeling good and I think yesterday showed that I’m in good shape, but Annemiek had such a great ride today, I am really proud of her and we are going into the rest of the race with a lot of form and confidence.
“We came here targeting the win and we are in a good position now, we’ve shown that we’re in great shape as a team and that we are taking this seriously.”
Giro-Rosa stage 7 TT results:
General classification after stage 7: