Hannah Barnes from CANYON//SRAM Racing has taken one of the biggest wins of her career when she won stage three today of the UCI Women’s WorldTour Giro Rosa. Barnes out-powered Lotta Lepisö (CBT) and Kirsten Wild (CLP) to take a bunch sprint victory in San Vendemiano, Italy.
The 100km stage three had several aggressive attacks in the early uncategorised climbs but no combination could stay away. The peloton was all together as it approached the final short but steep climb at Ca’ del Poggio. Despite eight riders going clear over the top of the QOM, Alexis Ryan and Elena Cecchini paced their teammates down the descent and soon after the peloton was all together again.
Cecchini made a solo attack with 25km to go and with a gap quickly growing to 25 seconds it looked for a brief moment that the former Italian champion could contend for a solo victory. The sprinter teams saw it differently and with 15km a bunch sprint was unavoidable.
CANYON//SRAM Racing had the initial plan to go for Barbara Guarischi but the Italian made a call in the final kilometre and her last lead out rider, Barnes displayed a powerful sprint herself to take the victory.
After the stage Barnes said “In the final kilometres I actually was not in a good position. Elena told me at 6km to go that we needed to get to the front to be ready to lead out Barbara, and really even with 3km to go I still wasn’t where I needed to be. At the end I made it and it was Elena and I in front of Barbara. Elena led me for the last kilometre and with 200m to go I was still holding in front of Barbara. She yelled to go and I sprinted but then no one was coming around me and the win was mine.”
“There were a lot of big name sprinters here so to be able to sprint and win against them makes it even more satisfying. Our team really wanted a win like this and we have been working towards it so it’s a great feeling for it to pay off today,” said Barnes.
Barnes and her teammates will now go into the 118km stage four around Occhiobello with a continued focus on stage wins for the tour. Racing starts at 12:10 and can be followed on Twitter using #GiroRosa and #UCIWWT.