Giro del Toscana
Quartarra - Firenze (106,9km)
The Giro del Toscana finished in Firenze (Florence) on Sunday. The stage began with seven laps of a short, 8.8km circuit. The stage was mainly flat, apart from the climb to the Piazza Michelangelo in Firenze, 5km from the finish. The final run-in was downhill, it was also through narrow, wet streets, lined with parked cars and motor scooters and some cobbles. Not an easy finish to this race.....
Ellen van Dijk (Netherlands) gained an early advantage on the bunch during the second circuit of the Quaratta circuit. The bunch chased, without too much heart and van Dijk was allowed to stay away for several laps.
The final 50km were a relatively flat run-in to Firenze, covering some of the roads used earlier in the week. During the run-in, Alessandra D'Ettorre (Saccarelli) and Natalia Boyarskaya (Fenixs Colnago) broke away together. They gained 23 seconds on the bunch, which they maintained until 10km away from the finish. Between the 10km and 5km away points on the circuit, the leaders were led off course by the pre-race escort. Quickly back on track, the bunch was stopped to ensure the 23 second gap remained (as per UCI rules).
The final kilometres saw D'Ettorre and Boyarskaya vying for position, without slowing. The bunch was too close for any dramatic 'cat and mouse' tactics. The final 300m were in a straight line to the Firenze Piazza della Republica. D'Ettorre was ahead as the pair turned into the road and she maintained her position to the finish. There was time for an emotional celebration as she crossed the line.
Later, during the podium ceremony, Giorgia Bronzini (Team FRW), a fellow Italian, paid tribute to D'Ettorre's victory just prior to the World Championships in Salzburg.
The race overall was effectively won yesterday on Stage 5 by Svetlana Bubnenkova (Fenixs Colnago). She sealed the victory today by finishing in the main bunch. Mariane Vos retained the points jersey and took the young rider competition from Suzanne De Goede (AA Drink). Best Italian was taken by D'Ettorre, whilst Bubnenkova replaced Theresa Senff (AA Drink) as best non-Italian and Claudia Hausler (Nürnberger) in the mountains competition. Ellen van Dijk's break early on was rewarded with the 'generosita' jersey for the stage.
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