Duo of Spanish climbers from Movistar Team confirm their world-class category with great performance in first mountain-top finish of women's Giro.
The women’s Movistar Team showed on Wednesday’s stage six of the 2018 Giro Rosa –114km from Sovico to the Cat-2 finish of Gerola Alta- that the Spanish riders in its roster are really close to the level of the biggest names in the UCI Women’s WorldTour. Mavi García (6th) and Eider Merino (11th) crowned a fantastic performance from the whole Sanz-directed squad in the first mountain-top arrival of the Italian Grand Tour.
— UCI_WWT (@UCI_WWT) July 11, 2018
Gloria Rodríguez, Aude Biannic and Malgorzata Jasinska maestrily led out the Blue climbers in the fast, flat approach to the 14km climb, while Lorena Llamas completed a good job skirmishing the field of favourites. As the Catalan left the front of the group, only twelve riders remained, with García responding to all moves and joining a world-class, four-woman lead -with Van Vleuten (MTS), Moolman (CBT) and Niewiadoma (CSR)- which was later caught.
A final attack from Spratt (MTS) and the vigilance at the pursuit, again joined by a very solid Merino, opened the gaps to 28″ between the Aussie and the bunch, containing the two Movistar Tema riders. Thursday will bring another important test for the Blues, with a 15km mountain TT towards Alpe Gera di Campo Moro, which Merino (11th) and García (14th) will tackle on the verge of the GC’s top-ten.
— Mountain TT start times (Thursday 12th; all CEST): 12.38 Rodríguez, 13.34 Biannic, 14.00 Jasinska, 14.11 Llamas, 14.21 García, 14.24 Merino.
Satisfecha con su resultado, feliz por la ayuda de todas las #MujeresMovistarMolan y con altas expectativas para la montaña que resta en este #GiroRosa, comenzando por la cronoescalada de mañana. Las palabras de @mavi_at, 5ª hoy entre las mejores del mundo en Gerola Alta. pic.twitter.com/BB5W3nenzz
— Movistar Team (@Movistar_Team) July 11, 2018
Mavi García: “We were already waiting for a stage like today’s – it was finally time to tackle the mountains, after really hard days for us, with lots of nerves and crashes. We were so well organized on the flat before the climb, with Aude and Jasi helping me out to remain in a good position near the front. Lorena did a fantastic job to create a selection in the GC group and, seeing how our rivals were doing, I was feeling strong, ready to move.
“When the attacks started, though, I didn’t want to take full responsibility and go all-out, rather than gradually incresing my speed, though I had to follow the Mitchelton riders’ wheels when they first moved. At the end, Spratt went and I was a bit more alone before Eider could rejoin from behind – she did everything she could. The pace was quite slower in the final kilometers, allowing Spratt to open a gap and making for a bigger pursuit group. It could have been better, but I’m satisfied with today’s performance. My expectations for tomorrow’s TT are quite high!”