Alexis Ryan sprinted to sixth in today’s penultimate stage of the Giro Rosa. Despite two climbs early in the 122km stage, a large group came into the final circuit around small town of Polla, Italy. Marta Bastianelli (ALE) won the reduced bunch sprint from Lotta Lepistö (CBT).
“The peloton set a hard tempo on all the climbs. The heat was affecting me more than the pace,” said Ryan after the stage.
“Our plan was to make it over the climbs and see how everyone is feeling. A couple moves went on and between the climbs, but we were present in all. Elena (Cecchini) was in a good breakaway for several kilometers, but a couple teams that weren’t represented chased it down.”
“We decided that I would sprint. Elena and I stuck together through the very hectic finale, but it was so hard to do a proper lead out and there wasn’t one team that was very organised. I was sitting third wheel with 400m to go but was boxed and had to slam on the brakes to keep from crashing.”
“It’s been a long time since I was sprinting for the win, and until this Giro Rosa I had never gone for the win in a European race. It’s a big learning curve for me coming into these sprints, but I’m gaining more confidence with each opportunity,” added Ryan.
Tomorrow’s final stage is 124km around the city of Torre del Greco starting at 12:00 CEST. The final QOM of the tour climbs partway up Mount Vesuvius and an exciting final battle for the last stage win and the maglia rosa for the 2017 Giro Rosa is highly anticipated.