Consonni queen of Mantovana! Race report Stage 1 Giro d’Italia Women

Written by: Niels Goudriaan
Posted 4 days ago

In a race filled with strategic attacks and tactical brilliance, Chiara Consonni emerged victorious in the second stage of the Giro d’Italia Women, delivering an exhilarating finish that saw her edge out World Champion Lotte Kopecky in the last few meters. Here’s a detailed account of the dramatic final kilometers leading up to Consonni’s stunning victory.

The Final Kilometers Unfold

As the peloton approached the final 12 kilometers, Ana Vitoria Magalhães (BPK) was leading the race, determined to make history as the first Brazilian to win a stage at the Giro. Despite the peloton’s high speed, Magalhães maintained a respectable gap. Meanwhile, Marta Jaskulska (WNT) had been caught by the peloton after a brave solo effort.

With just 8 kilometers to go, Magalhães continued to lead, showcasing her remarkable endurance. However, the peloton, led by SD Worx’s Niamh Fisher-Black and Movistar, was closing in. The race was heating up, with temperatures soaring above 30 degrees Celsius, adding to the challenge.

Lucinda Brand (Lidl-Trek) took control at the front of the peloton, setting a blistering pace. The gap to Magalhães started to shrink rapidly, signaling the beginning of the end for her solo breakaway. The peloton was now in full chase mode, determined to set up a bunch sprint.

As the race entered the final 5 kilometers, the peloton was breathing down the neck of Magalhães. Elena Cecchini (SD Worx) drove the peloton, reducing the gap significantly. The bunch was now preparing for an inevitable sprint finish, with teams jostling for position.

At 4.4 kilometers to go, Magalhães was finally caught. Anouska Koster launched a late attack, reminiscent of her national championship strategy from a few years ago, but the peloton was relentless, bringing her back quickly.

With just 2.4 kilometers remaining, it was all about positioning for the sprint. The peloton was tightly packed, and the sprinters’ teams were at the front, organizing their lead-out trains. Lotte Kopecky, the Belgian World Champion, looked poised and ready.In the final kilometer, Ana Vitoria Magalhães was caught, and Anouska Koster was leading. The peloton, however, was together, setting up for a dramatic sprint finish.

 

The Sprint to Victory

As the race neared its climax, it was clear that a sprint finish was inevitable. The peloton was all together, and the sprinters were getting ready to launch their final efforts.

In the last 900 meters, Lotte Kopecky made her move, launching a powerful sprint and taking the lead. With just 100 meters to go, it seemed as though the Belgian champion had it in the bag.

However, in a breathtaking turn of events, Chiara Consonni of UAE Team ADQ surged forward with an incredible burst of speed, overtaking Kopecky in the final 10 meters. Consonni’s perfectly timed sprint secured her a spectacular victory, much to the delight of the crowd and her team.

 

Reflections on the Stage

Chiara Consonni’s win in this final stage was not just a testament to her sprinting prowess but also her ability to maintain composure under immense pressure. Her victory capped off a Giro d’Italia Donne that was full of excitement, from early breakaways to tactical sprints.

Consonni expressed her joy after the race, highlighting the importance of teamwork and strategy. “I was super focused on my sprint because I know we don’t have a lot of opportunities,” Consonni said, reflecting on the intense final moments of the race.

This victory also underscored the depth of talent in women’s cycling, with riders like Kopecky, Brand, and Magalhães all playing significant roles throughout the stage. The Giro d’Italia Donne once again proved to be a showcase of endurance, strategy, and sheer willpower.A Look Ahead

As the Giro d’Italia Donne wraps up, the cycling world now turns its attention to the upcoming Tour de France Femmes and the UCI Cycling World Championships. Riders like Annemiek van Vleuten, who claimed her fourth overall title in this year’s Giro, will undoubtedly be key figures in these upcoming events.

For now, Chiara Consonni’s victory will be remembered as one of the highlights of the 2023 Giro d’Italia Donne, a race that continues to inspire and elevate the profile of women’s cycling on the global stage.

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