Giro d'Italia 33rd Giro d'Italia Donne, June 30th-July 10th, 2022

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Who will win the 2022 Giro Donne?

  • Annemiek van Vleuten

    Votes: 10 76.9%
  • Someone else (write your pick in a post)

    Votes: 3 23.1%

  • Total voters
    13
I've noticed a couple of times now that it seems to be this kind of profile that Annemiek makes her biggest moves on, rather than the single mountain MTF types; going early and establishing a gap behind and then letting others in-fight seems to work better for her than just blowing people up on the MTF (she can do that, too, but the time gaps created by blowing everyone to smithereens then riding along while they all work out what to do behind extending her lead seem to be bigger). This was similar to what happened on Laghi di Cancano a few years ago and in the Ceratizit Challenge last year where stages with a lot of cumulative climbing but not really any scary strong climbing ended up being the most decisive, and the bunch seemed more or less reconciled to defeat at the hands of van Vleuten and worked against each other with indecision.

This time, however, she wasn't alone. It's kind of weird to see such an old top 2 - 77 cumulative years between them - but Mavi didn't start cycling until she was 31 and she has always been a good climber; she's a complete diesel and placement in the bunch has usually harmed her chances, forcing her to start climbs way back and pick her way through the dropped riders to get back to the front. I assume AVV wanted rid of Cavalli more than anything else since Marta C can actually sprint, Mavi is not a threat in a two-up. Cavalli is clearly motivated and my expectation is that this race is for her to peak at and then at Le Tour Cille and Évita Muzic will take over, however this FDJ team now looks pretty formidable.

A lot of hesitation in the bunch, you would think, would have meant more riders than made the selection would have made the selection. Some serious names missing from the group - a few prediction game choices certainly standing out, Kristen Faulkner falling way back despite her success in the opening TT, and my personal pick of Juliette Labous was perhaps more readily influenced by her Burgos performance and without too much consideration of the likelihood that she targets Le Tour instead - though as she's the only GC rider DSM had brought I figured she'd be leader regardless. Lucinda Brand going from winning the Tour de Suisse to 11 minutes back here is somewhat surprising as this was a stage I figured she'd like - similar to a couple of stages she won in the Giro back in 2015 and 2017. I'm starting to wonder if Mikayla Harvey's 2020 was a bit illusory or if something is wrong, because the New Zealanders did better out of lockdown than anybody else, but while Fisher-Black continues to develop and go from strength to strength, Harvey has lost her way considerably and never looked like replicating that 2020 performance - but that included catching and dropping the likes of Uttrup and Niewiadoma on a 12% climb, so clearly she should have the legs for this type of stage. Sara Poidevin being in the laughing group at nearly half an hour back is sad to see as well, she's a very good climber and this suggests to me that something isn't quite right. It's her first race in Europe since the Ardennes and so I'm not sure if there's been an injury there or anything.

The time gaps do suggest the podium is set, but you never know, as only van Vleuten is really proven here. Mavi has been strong in mountainous stage races for a few years but has only been competing for the win in the mid-tier races such as the likes of the Tour de l'Ardeche during the van der Breggen/van Vleuten era, so how she responds to the pressure will be interesting, while Cavalli is still learning her trade as a 24-year-old who has made a huge stride forward this year. You'd say the Bergamo stage is a great chance for her to win some time back on Mavi as she is obviously the more explosive of the two given how she won Amstel and Flèche. Last year's Giro however is the only time we've seen Marta have to back up performances in the mountains multiple times; she finished 6th overall... and look who was 5th, just 3 seconds ahead of her.... one Margarita Victoria García Cañellas.
 
I've noticed a couple of times now that it seems to be this kind of profile that Annemiek makes her biggest moves on, rather than the single mountain MTF types; going early and establishing a gap behind and then letting others in-fight seems to work better for her than just blowing people up on the MTF (she can do that, too, but the time gaps created by blowing everyone to smithereens then riding along while they all work out what to do behind extending her lead seem to be bigger). This was similar to what happened on Laghi di Cancano a few years ago and in the Ceratizit Challenge last year where stages with a lot of cumulative climbing but not really any scary strong climbing ended up being the most decisive, and the bunch seemed more or less reconciled to defeat at the hands of van Vleuten and worked against each other with indecision.

This time, however, she wasn't alone. It's kind of weird to see such an old top 2 - 77 cumulative years between them - but Mavi didn't start cycling until she was 31 and she has always been a good climber; she's a complete diesel and placement in the bunch has usually harmed her chances, forcing her to start climbs way back and pick her way through the dropped riders to get back to the front. I assume AVV wanted rid of Cavalli more than anything else since Marta C can actually sprint, Mavi is not a threat in a two-up. Cavalli is clearly motivated and my expectation is that this race is for her to peak at and then at Le Tour Cille and Évita Muzic will take over, however this FDJ team now looks pretty formidable.

A lot of hesitation in the bunch, you would think, would have meant more riders than made the selection would have made the selection. Some serious names missing from the group - a few prediction game choices certainly standing out, Kristen Faulkner falling way back despite her success in the opening TT, and my personal pick of Juliette Labous was perhaps more readily influenced by her Burgos performance and without too much consideration of the likelihood that she targets Le Tour instead - though as she's the only GC rider DSM had brought I figured she'd be leader regardless. Lucinda Brand going from winning the Tour de Suisse to 11 minutes back here is somewhat surprising as this was a stage I figured she'd like - similar to a couple of stages she won in the Giro back in 2015 and 2017. I'm starting to wonder if Mikayla Harvey's 2020 was a bit illusory or if something is wrong, because the New Zealanders did better out of lockdown than anybody else, but while Fisher-Black continues to develop and go from strength to strength, Harvey has lost her way considerably and never looked like replicating that 2020 performance - but that included catching and dropping the likes of Uttrup and Niewiadoma on a 12% climb, so clearly she should have the legs for this type of stage. Sara Poidevin being in the laughing group at nearly half an hour back is sad to see as well, she's a very good climber and this suggests to me that something isn't quite right. It's her first race in Europe since the Ardennes and so I'm not sure if there's been an injury there or anything.

The time gaps do suggest the podium is set, but you never know, as only van Vleuten is really proven here. Mavi has been strong in mountainous stage races for a few years but has only been competing for the win in the mid-tier races such as the likes of the Tour de l'Ardeche during the van der Breggen/van Vleuten era, so how she responds to the pressure will be interesting, while Cavalli is still learning her trade as a 24-year-old who has made a huge stride forward this year. You'd say the Bergamo stage is a great chance for her to win some time back on Mavi as she is obviously the more explosive of the two given how she won Amstel and Flèche. Last year's Giro however is the only time we've seen Marta have to back up performances in the mountains multiple times; she finished 6th overall... and look who was 5th, just 3 seconds ahead of her.... one Margarita Victoria García Cañellas.
I guess the heat might have caused problems for some of the riders, who either forgot to drink or drank plenty but forgot to eat enough. Only two riders failing to fnish wasn't that bad, though there still could be a few more exiting before the start tomorrow.

The chase group probably consisted of too many ridrs who were either teammates of those in front (CUL, Muzic, Magnaldi) or targeting stage wins (Longo Borghini, though you couldn't be sure if she was bluffing beforehand, and possibly other riders). We of course also know how dificult it can somestimes be to get a chase well organised in a women's race. They would obviously never had caught them, but the final gap could have been smaller. It'll be interesting to see if FdJ can use their strength in numbers on the next stages.

Harvey has struggled with both injury and sickness in the last 18 months, but looked to be on the rise in the Women's Tour. Today it might have been more of a case of which Canyon riders were the fastest to respond when the splits happened. Chabbey did well and Bradbury also continues to impress.

Former alpine skier Marte Berg Edseth, who was signed by Uno-X after the Norwegian NC, did quite well and finished in the Balsamo group.
 
I hadn't expected this kind of performance from García after the meltdown in Burgos. I give her a very small chance to win in a sprint though.
Garcia was very strong at the Spanish Nationals in which she dropped Sansesteban like a stone - But then Sansesteban tested positive for COVID two days later - So heading into the Giro, I was unsure what to make of her form.
 
Reactions: Samu Cuenca
Garcia was very strong at the Spanish Nationals in which she dropped Sansesteban like a stone - But then Sansesteban tested positive for COVID two days later - So heading into the Giro, I was unsure what to make of her form.
She was also riding on home roads there, which I assume favoured her. Wasn't it also pretty hot that day? It was so in the 2020 Strade Bianchi as well, so that might have helped her today, too.
 
Persico is low-key having a monster season and will be on a big team next year. She can seemingly do more or less everything and now Balsamo is gone from Valcar she has a lot more freedom to show that. Top 10 in Strade, Binda, Gent-Wevelgem, Brabantse Pijl, Burgos, RideLondon, the podium at Elsy Jacobs, and only just missing the top 10 at RVV and Drenthe, and now top 5 here. That's some very wildly varying parcours to show such consistency across, and she only turns 25 later this month so while it's a huge step forward for her she's still young enough to put some development time into.
 
Reactions: TourOfSardinia
I noticed her progression in cross in the fall. She was mostly mid pack all season but then in the late season picked up few WC top 10s, won the Italian Championships over million time champ Eva Lechner, and then capped it off with 3rd behind Vos and Brand in the World Champs. I got to see that one in person and granted she was well back of those two and several of the other top performers were in the U23 race but it was still relatively shocking - she's definitely on the rise. I hope she sticks with the cross as it seems like it's working for her.
 
Fairly typical breakaway today as the bunch licks its wounds from the beating it received yesterday. They gained several minutes but now the sprinters' teams seem to have them on a leash. 21-year-old Matilde Vitillo is the best placed rider in the group, 12 minutes down on GC, and it's mainly the Italian domestic teams who are on show, albeit including newly converted-to-Latvian national champion Anastasia Carbonari. The surprise interloper, however, is Hannah Barnes, who is a bit of a problem for the group because she is a far more proven sprinter than any of them and a far more experienced rider (plus 7-8 years older than her breakmates) too. The gap has dropped down fairly considerably in the last 15km or so, so it seems another sprint finish is likely.
 
Chabbey has taken voer the lead in the QOM. Brand attacked on the descent after the latest one and was jonied by Faulkner, but they were brought back by Cille and others. Alessia Vigilia from Fassa Bortolo has countered and has a gap of 30 seconds with 36 km to go.
 
The gap quickly grew to over a minute, but JV have taken up the chase now. Riejanne Markus didn't start today because of a crash earlier in the race, so that doesn't make it easier for them. Last QOM coming up now.
 

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