Review of Bigla’s Giro Rosa
The 30th edition of the Giro Rosa was a challenging one, but the Bigla riders, four of whom had never participated in this race before, arrived in Italy motivated and ready to take on the ten days of racing. Already on the opening team time trial, the team produced a very solid time, and was rewarded with second place on the stage. This is a particularly outstanding achievement, considering that they rode faster than both the second and third ranked teams in the world. On the third day, Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig took out third place on a stage which ended with a steep climb on narrow and tricky cobbled streets, a result which allowed her to defend her overall second place in the general classification until the end of the following stage. It was on the eighth stage that the team took out a stage win with Lizzy Banks, and even followed this up with a second place with Leah Thomas. With around 40km of racing, the two Bigla riders escaped from the field with eight other riders and gained several minutes advantage. However, sensing that the group was no longer working coherently, Lizzy went solo with 10km remaining, while teammate Leah put in an amazing performance to neutralise the attacks that would inevitably come from the breakaway. In the pouring rain, conditions which did not deter our British rider, Lizzy managed to evade the chasers and cross the finish line in Maniago to take a spectacular solo victory. Overall, Bigla leaves Italy with a stage win, two second places, and one third place, with the team also being able to collect valuable experience during this week and a half of racing, which it will build upon in the upcoming races.
Reflecting on the race, Team Manager Thomas Campana said: "This year, the Giro Rosa offered a very challenging course and we were not quite sure what to expect. We had four newcomers to the team who had never competed in such a stage race before. Our leader Cecilie is also quite young, and it was the first time that she took on this position. I have to say that it was something of an adventure for us. However, it worked out well, because the quality of our riders is extraordinary. We added many new young riders to our team last year and formed an almost completely new team. I have never experienced a team that has developed so quickly within seven months. We were very successful with a stage win, which is an excellent performance, and a well-deserved victory for Lizzy and the whole team. Then we took a podium with Cecilie, a second place with Leah, and another second place in the team time trial, which is very satisfactory. The results of this year's Giro Rosa exceeded our expectations. With regards to the general classification, it must be said that Cecilie's preparation was not ideal because she had a fall during her altitude training before the race, and was unable to ride her bike for 10 days, and she came into form just four days before the race. However, when we consider such bad luck, the result is remarkable, because we knew only four days before the start of the race that she was even able to participate. What we saw at the Giro Rosa saw a fantastic team with a lot of talent, and I'm sure that the team will be able to improve even further next year and reach the next level of performance. I am very happy and proud of the team and what we achieved at the Giro this year."