Marianne Vos left no doubt on the first day in the mountains for the most prestigious stage race in women’s cycling. Overall leader Vos (Rabobank) won stage 3 of the Giro Ciclistico d’Italia Femminile in Cerro al Volturno, taking a solo win ahead of Claudia Hausler (Tibco-To the Top) and Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana).
Vos was part of an early breakaway that also featured her Rabobank teammate Lucinda Brand, best young rider Barbara Guarischi (Vaiano-Fondriest), green jersey Valentina Scandolara (Cipollini), Tiffany Cromwell (Orica-AIS), and Lauren Hall (U.S. National Team). The group broke away following an early Cat. 3 climb at Castel San Vincenzo and Vos was the only rider to hang on as the peloton drew each of her companions in over the stage’s final kilometers.
Cromwell was the last of the breakaway riders to stay with Vos, but crashed and lost contact. A day after barely keeping her bike upright while sprinting to second, Vos took a bold win to bolster her Giro defense.
“After two second places in a row, I needed a stage victory,” she said. “I didn’t plan to make a long breakaway and I thought the stage was not so tough. The final was very steep and with the cobbles it was even worse, I’m really happy to win in pink. In the next days I hope to be with the best and increase my advantage in the general classification.”
Hausler led the shattered peloton through 45 seconds behind Vos, with time gaps throughout the group.
American Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-lululemon) was seventh, at 55 seconds. Mara Abbott (U.S. National Team) finished ninth, at 58 seconds.
The Giro Rosa continues Wednesday with the 137km fourth stage from San Vito to Castelfidardo.