Elena Cecchini from CANYON//SRAM Racing today sprinted to fifth place on stage six of the Giro Rosa in Roseto degli Abruzzi. The 118km stage in hot conditions was won by Lotta Lepistö (CBT) from Giorgia Bronzini (WHT).
Several attacks, including a solo move from Alexis Ryan, in the early part of the race were consistently reeled in as sprint teams tried to control the stage. A late attack from Hannah Barnes in the final 30km created a three-rider break but was caught before the final climb, and it was Cecchini who sprinted to the line for CANYON//SRAM Racing.
Read the rider reactions from the stage below:
Elena Cecchini: “We started with the idea to go in a breakaway but we immediately saw that the course was really fast and there was a lot of control from the sprinter’s teams. So we waited to attack in the last lap. Hannah created a very good breakaway in the penultimate lap but unluckily it didn’t stay away. We decided to sprint for me as I was feeling okay and we anticipated the last climb would create a selection. Barbara and Hannah helped me to take the climb in a very good position and Alexis did an amazing job along the climb for me and through the downhill. In the sprint I was on the right wheel but when they opened up the sprint they were just faster.”
Hannah Barnes: ”The third time over the climb I saw a good opportunity to attack so I did. I got away with two other riders, unfortunately one was an Ale Cippolini rider so she wasn’t working as they wanted a bunch sprint. I don’t know if it was the best idea to go on the attack but I wanted to try something new. It was great to see Elena be in a good position over the top of the climb and then to get a fifth place in the sprint.”
Barbara Guarischi: “The race was nice and I really like this kind of race. Once we had completed the first circuit we already made the decision that we would go for Elena or Hannah in the sprint. It had the type of climb where you needed to be in the first 10, maximum 15 riders, to be in contention for the win.”
“The whole team raced really well. I spent a lot of time focusing on making sure we were all in position and looking out for each other, encouraging everyone and to remind about drinking because it was so hot today. Hannah tried a breakaway at a good moment but with such a fast peloton it was hard, but we were aggressive and we didn’t finish the stage wondering what if.”
“We all helped bring Elena into a good position on the final climb and she was there in the top ten as we wanted. It’s not easy to play the game when Trixi (Worrack), Tiffany (Cromwell) and now Leah (Thorvilson) are out, but we all gave 100% and now we look for the next opportunity to win.”
Alexis Ryan: “I had great legs today. We were given the freedom to seek breakaway opportunities and I did my best to get up the road. I was solo at one point, but the circuit was too fast for one rider to hold off the peloton. During the stage we changed the plan to sprint for Elena. I brought her to the front at the base of the climb in good position. Elisa Longo Borghini (WHT) and I traded pulls from the top of the climb to the finishing straight away. Elena was in good position and came away with fifth. I think we can be really happy with our communication and how we raced today. We may not have won, but we MADE that race.”
Leah Thorvilson: “I am disappointed that I got pulled from the race. It was a lot faster stage and even if I was off the back on the second lap I was confident that I would have made the time cut. I was looking forward to the hilly stages that are coming up and it’s tough to deal with getting pulled out today. The Giro Rosa has been an amazing experience for me and even though it’s been brutally hard, I am really sad that it’s done. Now I have some days to recover and I will race Thüringen Rundfahrt in Germany.”
Tomorrow’s stage seven, the longest of the Giro Rosa, is 142km from Isernia to Baronissi in the province of Salerno. The stage starts at 12:15 CEST and can be followed on Twitter with #GiroRosa and #UCIWWT.