Best Ever Result For Moolman-Pasio In Giro Rosa
The biggest race in women’s cycling ended on Sunday in San Domenica di Varzo. The race which took place over ten days saw team leader Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio finish fourth overall. The result is the best ever for a South African in the only women’s Grand Tour.
“Giro Rosa was an incredible experience this year. It’s really the best Giro I’ve had this far,” Moolman-Pasio said at the end. “Everything was great, from the team support to the equipment. It makes all the difference. I did my best everyday to just stay in contention and not lose too much time.”
Moolman-Pasio crossed the line in fifth place on the final stage, slipping from third to fourth overall. Mara Abbott (Wiggle-Honda) won the stage with maglia rosa Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) finishing second to extend her lead in the overall.
“Today was a really tough day. Mara Abbott was really strong. Of course I’m very disappointed to miss the podium. Fourth is always the hardest place to finish. I’m feeling really motivated in that I have taken a big step up. I think the rest of the season is going to be great and it’s a privilege to have the support of such amazing girls in the team and incredible staff. Overall I am happy,” Moolman-Pasio said when reflecting back.
The race started well for Bigla Pro Cycling Team with Annemiek van Vleuten winning the opening prologue. The team proudly rode on the front of the peloton the following day in defense of the jersey. Later on during the week the team faced bad luck when key lieutenant for the mountains Doris Schweizer left the race after suffering a concussion. Van Vleuten also crashed and injured her back, which affected her performance. She courageously bounced back on the final stage to go into a breakaway in support of Moolman-Pasio.
“For us winning would be nice but we take the good out of the race,” Team Manager Thomas Campana said. “Two of our goals at the beginning of the season was to be as close to the top teams in the rankings and to develop young talent. We came to the race with relatively inexperienced riders and the team performed well beyond what was expected. We can really be proud of the team and the support our partners have shown to get us the best equipment for the race,” Campana concluded.
The youngest rider in the team, 19 year old Clara Koppenburg completed her first Grand Tour. During yesterday’s time trial, she placed 22nd overall. 24 year old Nicole Hanselmann also did her first Giro Rosa and was impressive in supporting the team leaders.
The team was struck by more bad luck the day before the time trial when seven bicycles were stolen. The team would like to thanks the partners, riders and staff for working around the clock to keep the riders on the road and proudly finish the Giro Rosa.