Jolien D’hoore capped a fantastic day for Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling with a sprint victory in the fourth stage of the Giro d’Italia Femminile - the Giro Rosa - in Occhiobello, in a photofinish over former teammate Chloe Hosking (Alé-Cipollini). The Belgian Champion managed to throw her front wheel across the line millimetres ahead of the Australian, with American Coryn Rivera (Sunweb) taking third behind them.
The stage also saw Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Elisa Longo Borghini move up to second place overall, after the team’s efforts in the crosswinds caused stage two winner Annemiek van Vleuten (Orica-Scott) to lose almost two minutes.
“Yeah, it was pretty close, but a win is a win,” D’hoore smiled.
“Somewhere around halfway WM3 put the hammer down, together with Boels-Dolmans, and suddenly we heard that Annemiek van Vleuten was in the second group,” she explained. “So we started to work for Elisa, for GC, and then we came really fast to the final 5km for the sprint.
“In the end we had two roundabouts in the last 800 metres, so it was pretty dangerous and hectic. But I managed to be up there, thanks to Giorgia [Bronzini], she led me out into the sprint, and yeah, it was a close call.”
So close was the finish that Hosking threw her own arms in the air after the line in the belief that she herself had won, which caused many to initially award it to the Australian.
“I knew that I had it, even if it was by a few millimetres, but then Chloe threw her arms in the air so I was confused,” D’hoore said. “But then we had to wait until the photofinish.”
Having retaken the black, yellow and red Belgian Champion’s Jersey on the weekend before the Giro, D’hoore relished the opportunity to show off her national colours once again in what she hopes will be the first of many victories as champion once again.
“Every chance or opportunity there is - every chance I get from the team - I would like to take, and that’s what I did today,” she smiled. “I’m really thankful to the girls - they wanted to work for me today - so hopefully I can work for them in the next coming days.”
As well as success for D’hoore, the fact that van Vleuten was forced to concede one minute and 59 seconds to the rest of her general classification rivals means that Longo Borghini now sits second overall. The Italian Champion looks more secure than ever in the Blue Jersey as Best Italian Rider - more than five minutes ahead of her nearest compatriot - but, more importantly is still just 26 seconds away from Anna van der Breggen (Boels-Dolmans) in the Pink Jersey.
“The Giro isn’t over until it’s over, so even on the flat stages you have to watch out not to lose any seconds - or minutes,” D’hoore said. “We were there with the whole team, so we did a good job today, but like I said it’s not over. There’s still - I think - six days now, so it’s hard to be a GC rider.
“I’m happy I’m just a sprinter in a stage race!” she laughed.
Photo Credit: Anton Vos
1. Jolien D’hoore (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
2. Chloe Hosking (Alé-Cipollini)
3. Coryn Rivera (Sunweb)
photos Janos Schmidt