Mikayla Harvey and Deborah Paine have completed their first Giro Rosa. Annemiek van Vleuten won the Giro Rosa in a Dutch 1-2 that saw her get the better of Anna Van Der Breggen of Boels Dolmans with Amanda Spratt of Mitchelton-SCOTT third.
New Zealanders Mikayla Harvey of Bigla Pro Cycling and Deborah Paine of Cogeas-Mettler both made their way through their debut Giro Rosa campaigns. The two riders had very different campaigns with Harvey riding in support of Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig who would finish 14th overall. Deborah Paine was the top rider of the Cogeas Mettler team, finishing 77th overall as one of three riders in the team to make it all the way to the end.
Cogeas Mettler battled their way through the Giro Rosa. The team lost Sari Saarelainen in stage 4 as well as Russians Anastasiia Pliaskina and Marina Uvarova. Only Deborah Paine, Antri Christoforou and Olga Deyko were left for the team and they fought their way through their numerical disadvantage to complete the team’s first outing at the Giro Rosa.
The damage was done by Van Vleuten in the overall standings when the Dutch rider took a resounding solo stage win at Lago di Cancano. The climb to the line in stage 5 saw Van Vleuten put 2.57mins into her nearest challengers; ending the stage with an overall lead of 2.16mins. From there the Dutch national time trial champion showed why she took the title in June.
On the 12.1km uphill time trial from Chiuro to Teglio, Van Vleuten put a further 52 seconds into nearest challenger Van Der Breggen to go 4.17mins clear at the top of the general classification.
In what would be a fantastic display of dominance from Van Vleuten, the Dutch rider would also get away with the points classification and QOM classification wins.
Bigla Pro Cycling can come away from the Giro with their heads held high. The team who were noted for their youthfulness had GC aspirations with Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig, and while a top ten would elude them overall the team came away with a stage win and team 1-2 courtesy of Lizzy Banks and Leah Thomas, a second place in the team time trial and a third place for Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig in stage 3.
It was the opening team time trial that will live fondest in the memories of New Zealanders though. A superb second place against the clock, beaten only by Canyon SRAM, meant that Mikayla Harvey spent one famous day in the best young rider’s jersey.
Harvey ended the race 32nd overall and a fine 5th in the young rider classification.