Moolman-Pasio third on the stage and retains race lead in Tuscany
The second day of Giro della Toscana saw the team visit the podium again as Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio placed third on the stage. The result means the South African who won the opening prologue retained the race lead.
Moolman-Pasio contested the sprint for the victory as part of a 10-rider group who held a gap on the rest of the peloton and finished third as Anna Stricker (Inpa-Biancha) won the stage.
“I took the sprint a bit early but got third and am still in pink so I am happy,” Moolman-Pasio said.
The course featured four laps at the start of the 132km stage. The four laps were relatively flat. Climbing came into play during the two smaller laps inside the final 30 kilometres. It featured a climb that was just over a kilometre. The top of the climb came 4 kilometres from the finish line.
“The team did a really exceptional job; we couldn’t have defended pink any better,” Moolman-Pasio continued. “I was really proud to be part of the team, we were on the front controlling and the girls were incredible. There were some attacks and twice solo breaks went but we weren’t too concerned about that. We brought the attacks back just before the climbing started. The first time up the climb there were three of us that got a gap but that wasn’t our intention and it came back.”
Moolman-Pasio says she expects Sunday’s final stage to be a tough one. The stage takes place from Lucca to Capannori and will be a distance of 96,3 kilometres. The category two climb featured in today’s stage will be negotiated four times before a category one climb inside the final 16 kilometres.