Annemiek looked invincible halfway through the climb, but Anna vdB was incredibly determined, and you could see the mojo begin to turn when Annemiek began to struggle in the final couple kilometers. Those two have had quite some duels in cycling, and this was another great one.Libertine Seguros said:Finally we have it! So, Annemiek was totally shot when Anna caught her and didn't even come close!
1 Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) NED
2 Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) NED +17"
3 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv) RSA +1'38"
4 Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) AUS +1'38"
5 Katherine Hall (Boels-Dolmans) USA +1'57"
6 Demi Vollering (Parkhotel Valkenburg) NED +2'51"
7 Ane Santesteban González (WNT-Rotor) ESP +2'51"
8 Erica Magnaldi (WNT-Rotor) ITA +2'53"
9 Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) ITA +2'55"
10 Juliette Labous (Team Sunweb) FRA +3'10"
11 Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) NED +3'10"
12 Eider Merino Cortazar (Movistar) ESP +3'10"
13 Julie van de Velde (Lotto-Soudal) BEL +3'29"
14 Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Bigla) DEN +3'31"
15 Sofie de Vuyst (Parkhotel Valkenburg) BEL +3'31"
16 Lucy Kennedy (Mitchelton-Scott) AUS +3'31"
17 Soraya Paladin (Alé-Cipollini) ITA +3'31"
So, it seems like WNT probably elected to battle over the maglia azzurra? Similarly Brand seems to have hit the wall on the steepest section after going with the attacks prior to the Sella Nevea, as she's fallen far from Spratt and Moolman-Pasio, with whom she was initially fighting, to the point where it seems she was probably being pulled along by Labous for the two to finish together as I can't imagine Labous needed towing to protect the maglia bianca as there are no other young rider contenders in that top 17. It seems Niewiadoma must have been just behind Paladin's group as, taking into account van Vleuten's six bonus seconds toward the GC for finishing 2nd on the day, I calculate that means she must have lost 3'38" on the day after looking at the provisional GC, which is as follows:
1 Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) NED
2 Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) NED +3'50"
3 Amanda Spratt (Mitchelton-Scott) AUS +7'00"
4 Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv) RSA +8'05"
5 Katherine Hall (Boels-Dolmans) USA +8'09"
6 Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) POL +8'10"
7 Lucinda Brand (Team Sunweb) NED +8'25"
8 Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo) ITA +8'30"
9 Soraya Paladin (Alé-Cipollini) ITA +9'26"
10 Erica Magnaldi (WNT-Rotor) ITA +9'31"
Incredible, all told, how close the grouping from 4th to 8th is. Were Hall and Niewiadoma not likely to be complete and utter irrelevances when it comes to sprinting, they might be interested by bonus seconds to battle between themselves (and with Ash) on the final day, but I can't really see that happening. If it does, and nobody else is interested, we could be in for some amusing metas volantes tomorrow. They'll probably start up a two-up sprint and the péloton will win.