I hate it when Annemiek crashes. She always comes back amazingly strong, but she's had some bad ones. Silver lining: the Olympics are far enough away to allow for full recovery for that event.
The crash happened earlier, on normal asphalt.Oh, it was on very large paved stone tiles, much bigger than cobbles but not tarmac. A bit worn, but no different to a few you see elsewhere. We've definitely seen similarly bad on some of the hilltop finishes in Tirreno-Adriatico and some of the small Italian races before, but those aren't usually flat finishes with sprint speeds on them. The other issue is that the very cobbled-together (pun intended) nature of this Giro route means that there's a bit of straw-that-broke-the-camel's-back about it. The organisers have done a lot of work just to get us a Giro Rosa this year, but as a result some of the organisation has left a bit to be desired. We've had gravel rougher than anything you see in Strade Bianche, re-routings of multiple stages due to road conditions including a stage finish being moved down the hill the day of the stage itself; narrow and sharp corners and technical finishes that are courting catastrophe almost as much as that insane Norwich finish in the Women's Tour a few years ago with a flat sage with a pinch point at 800m to go and then several corners within the last 250m. It was inevitable that at some point it would come to a head and there would be a crash; a lot of key names were involved. It seems like Vos has no lasting damage; FDJ reported Cille was held up but not impacted, other reports suggest she was involved. The big question is going to be Mitchelton and their two injuries as that's their top 2 riders, 2 of last year's podium and obviously the current maglia rosa. Lots of people reported Annemiek's own personal suspicion as fact in the immediate aftermath but it definitely did not look good at all for her.
NoWill she be able to do the WC?
To be fair, it was smart strategy by the Giro Rosa to schedule a less interesting stage against the Tour's queen stage and their queen stage against a flatter stage in the Tour. Now, if only they could get that live coverage we were supposed to be mandated for WWT events this year... Sadly, the other problem is that there are quite a few issues with signal dropout in mountainous locations in Italy, so it was also a bit of a game to find and piece together the results as well. This wasn't quite as bad as the Altopiano di Montasio last year, that was a nail-biting few hours of working out who was where. But still, there was some piecing together of what was going on from those updates before we got to the highlights coverage - so we were told about the break of 9, then that ELB and Anna were attacking with Niewiadoma chasing 30" behind, then radio silence for a while before it emerging that Harvey had beaten her, so I was kind of saying that "if the race developed in such a way, it's a great sign for Harvey because X, if I'm wrong about that and it's this, then it's a great sign for Harvey because Y". Happy to be wrong, and it doesn't change the overall gist of the point which is that Mikayla Harvey has been incredible here. I thought she'd defend the maglia bianca because the climb was at the upper edge of what I felt to be Lippert's threshold and I thought Mikayla had more than enough time on Cavalli, but I thought she'd be leading in the best of the rest after the elite climbers (which would still have been a great job) and looking at defending her GC position against the likes of Moolman-Pasio, not dropping the likes of Kasia and Cille by nearly a minute.Yes, Harvey's having a great race. Good to see that team (Paule Ka now) surviving. Would be a pity for the prospects they've gathered to struggle looking for another team instead of developing in a familiar environment.
I'm not certain anybody made a mistake (following) on that final slope. To me it looks it's just that kind of ascent where everybody need to dig deep and hope not to be dropped.
And some nice Movistar showing in the breakaway. Erić seems to be transforming from a finisseur to rouleur type. Maybe I'm wrong, but good to see her featuring anyway.
Girls were better than the guys today. Only Kragh's move can be matched with the girls' performances.
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