Race Report Giro d’Italia Women – Stage 5 Kopecky sprints to victory

Written by: Niels Goudriaan
Posted 1 day ago

Lotte Kopecky demonstrated her strength in Stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia Women, claiming victory in a text book style sprint and significantly closing the gap to the overall leader, Elisa Longo Borghini.

Quiet first kilometers

The stage began quiet with no significant breaks because of a controlling peloton.

Ana Vitoria Magalhães (BPK) was among the early aggressors, initiating a breakaway attempt. However, her effort was eventually neutralized as the peloton increased its pace under the searing 35-degree Celsius heat.

Mid-Stage Dynamics

As the race progressed, Marta Jaskulska (WNT) took her chances and broke away from the peloton, leading for a significant portion of the race. Despite her valiant effort and time trial style riding, the peloton, driven by teams such as SD Worx-Protime and Human Powered Health, reeled her back in as the race neared Foligno.

Final Kilometers and Sprint Finish

The roads leading to Foligno’s finish had a slight negative gradient, allowing the speeds to ramp up significantly. With 5 kilometers to go, the race saw a high-paced, technical finale. Silvia Zanardi (HPH) suffered a crash on a roundabout, but fortunately, she was able to remount and continue but she could play a part of the sprint anymore. In the last 2 kilometers, the race became highly technical with multiple sharp turns, making it difficult for teams to organize their lead-out trains effectively.

As the peloton navigated the final kilometer, Lotte Kopecky, the Belgian World Champion, positioned herself perfectly behind the lead-out of Barbara Guarischi. Kopecky displayed remarkable composure and timing, launching her sprint in the final 100 meters to outpace Chiara Consonni, who was too far behind to contest the victory and was second. Arlenis Sierra finishing third ahead of Kathrin Schweinberger. Elisa Longo Borghini finishing save in the peloton.

Kopecky’s textbook sprint earned her 10 bonification seconds, bringing her within just 3 seconds of Elisa Longo Borghini’s Maglia Rosa. This sets the stage for an exciting showdown in the upcoming harder stages of the Giro.

Rider Reactions

Reflecting on her victory, Kopecky expressed her satisfaction with the team’s performance. “This was a well-executed plan by my team. The final kilometers were chaotic, but we managed to stay calm and make the right moves,” Kopecky said, highlighting the crucial role her teammates played in setting up the win.

Elisa Longo Borghini, who continues to wear the Maglia Rosa, acknowledged the challenge posed by Kopecky. “Lotte is an incredible competitor. It’s going to be tough in the next stages, but I’m ready to fight for the overall lead,” Longo Borghini remarked.

Looking Ahead

Tomorrow a hard day ahead from the beaches of San Benedetto del Tronto, 159km with three 3d category climbs towards Chieti

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