After Friday’s cancelled stage, today saw the peloton back in action where a tough final climb saw Van Vleuten go solo to take the win while behind Juliette Labous sprinted to a great third place for Team dsm-firmenich.
Rolling out of Bagno a Ripoli just before midday, the peloton had a fraction over 100 kilometres to continued with along a mostly flat route but one that had a sting in the tail; with the day’s main obstacle of Passo della Colla (ten kilometres at almost six percent), cresting with 17 kilometres to go which was followed by a descent almost all the way to the finish.
Working well as a group, the team kept Labous safe throughout the stage before coming to the front in the second half of the day, contributing to the pace to shut down the early breakaway. The fight for position onto the climb saw the pace increase even further and the break was caught on the lower slopes, where Labous remained towards the front. Into the final few kilometres Van Vleuten put in a stinging attack and went solo while behind Labous rode at her own rhythm, not going into the red, and crested the ascent around ten seconds behind the group in front. Picking up riders on the descent, Labous’ group would ultimately come to the finish and fight it out for second place in the sprint. Showing a quick turn of speed, Labous put her head down and gave everything to the line; taking a fine third place in Marradi.