Evelyn Stevens solos over Ghisallo to take Giro Donne stage seven
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Thursday, July 8, 2010

Evelyn Stevens solos over Ghisallo to take Giro Donne stage seven

by Ben Atkins at 3:00 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
American rider escapes over historic climb to put herself in overall contention
Evelyn Stevens (HTC-Columbia) won the seventh stage of the Giro d’Italia Femminile between Como and Albese con Cassano, after escaping alone on the climb to the Madonna del Ghisallo. The American finished 42 seconds clear of a chasing group led home by race leader Marianne Vos (Netherlands), who outsprinted Stevens’ teammate Judith Arndt at the end of the 110km stage.

“I’m really happy,” said Stevens after her victory. “We wanted to make the race hard and I’ve made a real impression. It was the most beautiful stage, with real climbs and I’ve taken advantage of my excellent condition. I’m really getting better in the second half of this Giro.”

Stevens first escaped the peloton along with compatriot US champion Mara Abbott (United States) and World champion Tatinana Guderzo (Team Valdarno), wearing the blue jersey of best Italian rider, on the long climb to Colma di Sormano. They were joined over the top by Stevens’ teammate Arndt and Guderzo’s teammate Eivgenia Vytotska, a minute ahead of mountains competition Emma Pooley (Cervélo TestTeam) who’d been delayed by a puncture early in the climb.

More riders, including Vos, Pooley, defending champion Claudia Häusler (Cervélo TestTeam) and Amber Neben (United States) joined the front group on the long descent to Pusiano, with a pursuing group more than 2’30” behind them.

On the flat section along the banks of the Lago di Lecco, Stevens escaped and the newly crowned US time trial champion managed to pull out a lead of 1’28” by the time she reached to base of the second and final climb, the Madonna del Ghisallo.

Stevens scaled the 14km climb alone, and passed the famous chapel at the summit with 30 seconds in hand over the chasing group, which was now without Pooley. There only remained the long descent and slight uphill drag to the finish, where Stevens’ time trialling ability came to the fore once more.

The American managed to increase her lead to 42 seconds by the finish, where Vos managed to outsprint the rest of the chasing group. Olga Zabelinskaya led the next group in 5’39” back, with groups scattered on the road behind them; the grupetto containing most of the sprinters finished more than 38 minutes in arrears.

With the bonus seconds on the line Vos once again increased her lead in the overall classification slightly over Arndt, while Stevens’ stage win moves her up to fourth. Last year’s winner Häusler and US champion Abbott are both lurking ominously in fifth and sixth positions though with their favoured terrain, the high mountains, on its way in the next two days.

Result stage 7
1. Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Columbia
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Netherlands National Team @ 42s
3. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Columbia
4. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Team Valdarno
5. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam
6. Mara Abbott (USA) United States National Team
7. Eivgenia Vytotska (Ukr) Team Valdarno
8. Amber Neben (USA) United States National Team
9. Olga Zabelinskaya (Rus) Safi-Pasta Zara @ 5’39”
10. Elena Berlato (Ita) Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo-Ghezzi

Standings after stage 7
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Netherlands National Team
2. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Columbia @ 27s
3. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Team Valdarno @ 1’09”
4. Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Columbia @ 1’14”
5. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Cervélo TestTeam @ 1’29”

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