Race Report – Stage 3 Giro d’Italia Women: Niamh Fisher Black in great shape winning stage 3

Written by: Niels Goudriaan
Posted 3 days ago

Stage 3 of the Giro d’Italia Women 2024 from Sabbioneta to Toano unfolding across a 111km course with a demanding final climb where Niamh Fisher Black showed her form by winning with no one else on the finish photo.

How the race unfolded

The stage began in the picturesque town of Sabbioneta, known for its Renaissance architecture, providing a stunning backdrop as the peloton set off. The initial phase of the race was relatively calm, with some riders try to break but the peloton staying together and maintaining a steady pace. The hot and challenging conditions added an extra layer of difficulty to the race. Riders had to be vigilant about hydration and energy management, with team support playing a crucial role in their strategies.

The intermediate sprint at the 60km to go saw Jade Wiel of FDJ-SUEZ taking maximum points after a short solo break, followed closely by Chiara Consonni of UAE Team ADQ who is keen on taking points as well, before the peloton controlled the situation and got the French rider back in the pack.

As the race progressed towards the final climb, the dynamics began to shift. At around the 48km to go mark, Sarah Roy from Cofidis launched her solo attack, creating a small gap from the peloton. Her effort was soon joined by Elena Pirrone from CGS, and the two riders worked together to build a lead. However, the peloton, driven by teams like Canyon//SRAM Racing and Lidl-Trek, kept the pressure high, gradually closing the gap.

Final climb

The decisive moment came on the final 10km climb, classified as a category 2 ascent. The climb started to take its toll, and the high pace set by Canyon//SRAM Racing caused numerous riders to drop from the main group. Notably, by the 8km mark, only about 20 to 25 riders remained in contention.

With 8km to go, the lead group began to shrink further as the relentless pace continued to shed riders. This high tempo was largely driven by the ambitions of Elisa Longo Borghini’s Lidl-Trek team, aiming to protect her Maglia Rosa. As the climb intensified, the experienced riders at the front, including Lotte Kopecky and Niamh Fisher-Black, began to position themselves for the final assault.

In the final kilometers, attack after attack whittled the group down to just ten riders. The first move came from Mavi Garcia who attacked first out of the group. The decisive move came from New Zealand’s Niamh Fisher-Black, who launched a powerful attack with around 400 meters to go. Benefiting from a perfectly timed lead-out by her teammate Lotte Kopecky, Fisher-Black displayed remarkable strength and determination, breaking away to secure the stage victory. Kopecky herself finished strong, crossing the line in second place, just ahead of Juliette Labous and Elisa Longo Borghini, who managed to retain her overall lead in the General Classification.

Maglia Rosa

Longo Borghini’s consistent performance ensured she retained the Maglia Rosa, but the narrow gaps at the top of the leaderboard suggest fierce battles ahead.

Tomorrow is another chance for the riders to spray the Astoria Prosecco on the podium on a classic style stage from Imola to Urbino over 134km.

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