Mikayla Harvey has taken the white jersey for best young rider at the end of the opening day of racing at Giro Rosa. The Bigla Pro Cycling team finished second in the opening team time trial, to put Harvey 7th overall.
The opening team time trial of the 2019 Giro Rosa saw the field of 143 of the world’s finest riders broken up into their six-woman teams to take on a testing 18km course from Cassano Spinola to Castellania. It would be a day of big time gaps as well, with teams separated by upwards of 5 minutes by the end of the day in some cases. This was in part down to the gradual 6km climb that opened the day before the descent and then drag to the line again; with a final finishing kick in the last kilometre.
Deborah Paine’s Cogeas-Mettler Pro Cycling Team took on the course, finishing in 36.40mins which would be good enough for 22nd place on the stage.
The battle at the top end of the stage saw surprisingly large time gaps for an opening stage TTT over a relatively short distance. At the lower end of the top five Boels-Dolmans, usually such a dominant force in cycling, stopped the clock in 32.45mins conceding time to their big GC rivals in the likes of Annemiek van Vleuten, Marianne Vos, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig and Katarzyna Niewiadoma and leaving them with a lot of catching up to do.
It was Bigla Pro Cycling’s team of Mikayla Harvey, Elizabeth Banks, Nikola Nosková, Leah Thomas, Elise Chabbey and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig who were among the only teams to break the 33 minute mark. They set a very impressive benchmark of 32.05mins, averaging 33.662kph to set the provisional fastest time, and from there they waited with teams starting at 3 minute intervals.
Canyon SRAM Racing were the only team to get the better of them over the course of the day. The team of Kiwi Ella Harris (not racing the Giro Rosa) bettered Bigla’s time by 24 seconds in a time of 31.41mins; the only team to go under 32 minutes. The win put Katarzyna Niewiadoma into the leader’s jersey, but there was plenty to cheer for Bigla Pro Cycling who came away with two jerseys at the end of the day; including one for Mikayla Harvey.
Overall Canyon SRAM Racing occupy the top four positions overall, but behind them come Bigla Pro Cycling with Mikayla Harvey sitting in 7th place at 24 seconds behind Niewiadoma and in the lead of the best young rider classification.
More to come . . .