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In the streets of Nola, Marianne Vos (CCC-Liv) sprinted to her 28th Giro Rosa stage win and her third stage of the 2020 edition, beating Hannah Barnes (Canyon-SRAM) and Lotte Kopecky (Lotto Soudal). The Dutch star's team had worked hard on the day's climbs to split the peloton and tire out the less mountain-savvy sprinters.
In the final, the orange-clad team chased a solo attack by Maria Novolodskaya (Cogeas Mettler Look). The 21-year-old Russian still had a sizable advantage with 4km to go but then crashed on the run-in to the finish, putting an end to her hopes of victory.
Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) continues to lead the race overall by 1:52 ahead of Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) and 2:03 to Anna van der Breggen (Boels Dolmans).
"I was happy that CCC-Liv was driving it on the climbs to drop some of the sprinters, which means that for me it's easier and less hectic in the final," Van Vleuten said. "For us the goal was to get myself safe to the finish and it's nice if some sprinters are dropped because it's less hectic."
How it unfolded
The route of stage 6 had to be changed due to a bridge collapse, slightly lengthening the distance and adding more altitude metres to the stage. This made it even harder for the pure sprinters to contest the finish.
Several riders tried to get away in the first hour, including Teniel Campbell (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Ceratizit-WNT’s Lisa Brennauer and Kirsten Wild. None of them were let go by the peloton, and the high speed meant that this was the fastest hour of racing so far in the 2020 Giro Rosa.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) won the mountain sprint after 30km, adding to her tally and defending the green mountain jersey. A few kilometres later, Vos was first over the intermediate sprint, putting more points under her belt for the cyclamen points jersey.
On the unclassified climbs in the second half of the stage, CCC-Liv set a punishing pace, trying the same tactic that had worked so well the day before when the team split the peloton, dropping many of the sprinters.
Again, the pace on the climbs led to three groups forming, and although the second peloton came back before the finish, some 50 riders were out of contention for the stage win. On the last ascent Pauliena Rooijakkers (CCC-Liv) pushed on even further, going off the front of the race with Nadine Gill (Bizkaia Durango).
The two riders were reeled in again before the descent towards Nola, and 13km from the finish, Novolodskaya made her own bid for glory. She gained a 30-second advantage on the wide downhill road to the finish but crashed in a tight 180-degree turn just within 4km to go.
On the finishing straight, Barnes started her sprint early, but Vos came around her just before the finish to take the win.
Visit Cyclingnews' dedicated women's page for full reports, results, news, features and galleries from the 2020 Giro Rosa.
Rider Name (Country) Team
Marianne Vos (Ned) CCC-Liv
Hannah Barnes (GBr) Canyon-Sram Racing
Lotte Kopecky (Bel) Lotto Soudal Ladies
Rider Name (Country) Team
Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Mitchelton-Scott Women