Giro del Toscana
Segromigno in Piano - Capanorri, 100.9km
The poor weather conditions returned to the Giro del Toscana on Saturday's heavy mountains stage. There were 4 laps including the ascent of Segromigno in Monte, then just 20km from the finish, a 10km climb of Valgiano, with its switchbacks and seemingly never-ending gradient. The descent was steep in places and slippery, especially so in the heavy rain.
The race stayed pretty much together for the first lap, but in the second, Alessandra D'Ettorri (Saccarelli) went away. The only rider to chase her was Andrea Knechnt (Team Bigla), who stranded herself between the bunch and the leader for 20km. When the race came back together, the leaders were at the front of the peleton. On the final ascent of Segromigno in Monte, the race split, the toil of the day showing for many. Several riders climbed off into the dry and warmth of their team buses through the feed zone.
When Claudia Hausler (Nürnberger) made a move part way up Valgiano, it was quickly matched by Bubnenkova, De Goede, Senff, and Cremilda Fernandes (Fanini System Data). They were joined soon afterwards by Vos, Graus, Boyarskaya, Balderas and Luperini. As the climb progressed, Bubnenkova showed her strength by extending the group, creating a long line of chasers. With 3km to go, the only rider left with her was Fernandes, who tried valiantly, but in vain. Bubnenkova opened up a gap which was not closed again on the descent.
Bubnenkova raced to the line, trying to save vital seconds for the general classification.
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