Trek-Segafredo may not have gotten the victory during stage 5 at the Giro Rosa but they continued to show prime teamwork at the women’s nine-day race putting Lizzie Deignan on the podium in Terracina. It was the team’s third podium finish since winning the opening team time trial in Grosseto.
“I think our best tactic with Trek-Segafredo is always teamwork,” Deignan said following the stage won by Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv)
After Monday’s monster 180km day, the peloton might have been forgiven for hoping that Tuesday’s sprint stage might be slightly easier and flatter. The final was indeed flat, however, the rest of the race was not one for the pure sprinters, with two categorised climbs to get over before the flat run-in to Terracina. All eyes were on all-rounders and climbers with a kick.
On the day, the inimitable Vos took her second stage win of the race from a bunch kick, with young Belgian Lotte Kopecky (Lotto-Soudal) took second, while Deignan finished in third.
After winning the second GPM point with 20km to go, her teammate Elisa Longo Borghini, who briefly wore the coveted maglia rosa after the team time trial, carried on her attack over the top of the climb and gained up to 18 seconds on the bunch before they reeled the Italian rider in with 1km to go.
“Because Elisa was off the front we just had to sit in the peloton and do nothing and save our legs,” said Deignan.
Of the team’s preparation ahead of the stage, Deignan said it was a strange day particularly when it came to weather conditions. “We thought it would maybe be windy, but we were unfortunate that it wasn’t. That would have been great for our team as we’re so strong at the moment and need that team advantage.”
The race played into the hands of the likes of Deignan, with many of the sprinters dropping on the steep final climb before the finish. “In the end, it was CCC who lit it up on the main climb and dropped all the main sprinters,” she said. “Me and Elisa were in a select group up front and attacked on the final climb. We formed a small group, but actually, Elisa just descended faster and went solo.”
The lead into the finish was flat, with a sharp 90-degree turn onto the final stretch to the line, and the peloton caught up with Longo Borghini with around 1km to go.
“In the end, it was clear she was going to get caught and Ruth (Winder) and Ellen (van Dijk) set me up for the sprint. I came away with a third place, which for me in a bunch sprint is not so bad.”
Of the teams plans for the remaining four stages Deignan added, “We have a really strong team. Elisa is well placed on the GC and we’ll continue to have an open and aggressive tactic.”
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