Australian Tiffany Cromwell (Orica-GreenEdge) went on a solo ride for over 100km on Tuesday during stage 5 of the 2012 Giro Donne from Polesella to Molinella, which was expected to end in a bunch sprint.
Cromwell, who attacked early in the 118km race and never relinquished the lead, finished eight minutes, 33 seconds ahead of the peloton. Her largest gap of the race exceeded 13 minutes, putting her into the virtual pink jersey for a short time.
“I honestly thought it was a day for the sprinters, but I saw an opportunity and
took it,” Cromwell said after the win. “Our team does not have a sprinter, so we had no other choice than to attack.”
Italian world champion Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora Pasta Zara) won the bunch sprint, earning second for the stage, while Valentina Scandolara (SC Michela Fanini Rox) took third.
The top end of the general classification remains unchanged after stage 5, with Marianne Vos (Rabobank) wearing pink in the lead. Stage 3 winner Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) sits in second at 1:31 back, while Emma Pooley (AA Drink Leontien.nl) is third, 2:07 back from Vos.
The jersey wearers also remain unchanged after stage 5. Vos remains in control of the yellow Rock No War jersey for the points classification, and Pooley still wears the Epiù Energia-Gruppo Iseni jersey for the mountain classification. Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products Mistral Home) is still the best young rider in white, while Fabiana Luperini (Faren Honda) will wear the blue Santero jersey for best Italian rider for the third consecutive day.
Wednesday’s stage 6 is a 122km route from Modena to Salsomaggiore Terme. The rolling stage with a gradual climb is another opportunity for the race’s sprinters to make their mark on the competition.