CYCLING: Van Vleuten dominates the Giro Rosa, and women’s cycling while Alaphilippe leads the Tour de France

The best women's rider in the world: Giro Rosa champion Annemiek van Vleuten (NED). (Photo: Giro Rosa/Flaviano Ossola)

The two largest events in men’s and women’s cycling ran concurrently in two different countries on Sunday. While French rider Julian Alaphilippe continued to nurse a small advantage in the Tour de France, Dutch star Annemiek van Vleuten left no doubt about who is the best women’s cyclist in the world.

Van Vleuten won her second consecutive Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile, cruising home in the final stage after building a huge lead with two sensational wins in stages 5 and 6. In a 10-stage race, finishes of 4-2-4-7-1-1-4-24-2-21 are going to take you a long way and van Vleuten won by a hefty 3:45 over countrywoman Anna van der Breggen and 6:55 over third-place Amanda Spratt of Australia.

“I am super happy and I will celebrate for sure with my team,” she said afterwards. “I am improving a lot the preparation and the team is doing the same. We focused a lot on the Giro and it has been important that we have done it together: in the Classic you can win by yourself, but in stage races you need everybody, the teammates and the staff. I usually do altitude training camps in Livigno since some years and I know the roads in the area very well. I love the Italian atmosphere and my mum has come here for the first time, we will celebrate for sure with her.”

Here’s how complete van Vleuten’s win was: she won the overall race, the Points race and was classified as the best in the Mountains. With nine races left in the season, she leads the UCI Women’s World Tour standings by 1,307.67-1,086.17 over Poland’s Kasia Niewiadoma. It’s her third win and sixth medal through 14 of the 23 races on the calendar.

Van der Breggen was second for the second time in the Giro Rosa and won her third medal on the World Tour for 2019. But she, like everyone else, is chasing van Vleuten.

In the Tour de France, the end of the first week of riding concluded with France’s Alaphilippe having regained the yellow jersey as the difficulty of the stages is beginning to increase.

He had to yield the race lead to Italy’s Giulio Ciccone for two stages after the brutal mountain finish of stage 6, but regained it by staying with the sprinters in stage 8 and has the lead over Ciccone heading into Monday’s ninth hilly but mostly downhill stage before the first rest day on Tuesday.

The race gets meaner with three mountain stages this week and an Individual Time Trial, and the expected contenders are all within striking distance. Defending champion Geraint Thomas (GBR) is just 1:12 back and Team INEOS teammate Egan Bernal (COL) is 1:16 behind Alaphilippe. There are 11 riders within 1:47 of the leader and 20 within 2:54.

There was a nasty accident during the seventh stage, as the riders were trying to get through a heavy traffic area during stage 7 and American Tejay van Garderen smashed into a road marker and was severely bloodied; he has had to abandon the Tour for 2019; it’s the second time in eight times on the Tour that he has not been able to finish. Summaries so far:

UCI Women’s World Tour/Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile
Italy ~ 5-14 July 2019
(Full results here)

Stage 1 (18.0 km: Team Time Trial): 1. Canyon-SRAM Racing (GER: Niewiadoma, Barnes, Ryan, Shapira, Cromwell, Amialiusik), 31:41; 2. Bigla Pro Cycling (DEN), 32:05; 3. CCC-Liv (NED), 32:26; 4. Mitchelton-Scott (AUS), 32:34; 5. Boels-Dolmans (NED), 32:45.

Stage 2 (78.3 km): 1. Marianne Vos (NED), 2:15:56; 2. Annemiek van Vleuten (NED), 2:15:56; 3. Lucinda Brand (NED), 2:15:16; 4. Anna van der Breggen (NED), 2:15:56; 5. Soraya Paladin (ITA), 2:15:56. Also in the top 25: 14. Ruth Winder (USA), 2:15:56; … 20. Katie Hall (USA), 2:16:08; 21. Tayler Wiles (USA), 2:16:08.

Stage 3 (104.1 km): Vos (NED), 2:49:11; 2. Lucy Kennedy (AUS), 2:49:11; 3. Cecile Upprup Ludwig (DEN), 2:49:11; 4. Van Vleuten (NED), 2:49:11; 5. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA), 2:49:11. Also in the top 25: 13. Hall (USA), 2:49:11; … 21. Winder (USA), 2:49:20; … 25. Leah Thomas (USA), 2:49:40.

Stage 4 (100.1 km): 1. Letrizia Borghesi (ITA), 2:29:50; 2. Nadia Quagliotto (ITA), 2:29:50; 3. Chiara Perini (ITA), 2:29:50; 4. Vos (NED), 2:30:32; 5. Leah Kirchmann (CAN), 2:30:32. Also in the top 25: 20. Alexis Ryan (USA), 2:30:42; 21. Winder (USA), 2:30:42; … 24. Thomas (USA), 2:30:42.

Stage 5 (87.5 km): 1. Van Vleuten (NED), 3:09:47; 2. Brand (NED), 3:12:44; 3. Kasia Niewiadoma (POL), 3:12:44; 4. Paladin (ITA), 3:12:44; 5. Amanda Spratt (AUS), 3:12:44.

Stage 6 (12.1 km Time Trial): 1. Van Vleuten (NED), 24:32; 2. Van der Breggen (NED), 25:24; 3. Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA), 26:20; 4. Brand (NED), 26:21; 5. Juliette Labous (FRA), 26:26. Also in the top 25: 7. Hall (USA), 26:35; … 9. Wiles (USA), 26:53; … 11. Winder (USA), 27:01; … 15. Thomas (USA), 27:14.

Stage 7 (12.3 km): 1. Vos (NED), 3:19:33; 2. Van der Breggen (NED), 3:19:33; 3. Longo Borghini (ITA), 3:19:22; 4. Van Vleuten (NED), 3:19:22; 5. Demi Vollering (NED), 3:19:42. Also in the top 25: 15. Hall (USA), 3:19:48.

Stage 8 (133.3 km): 1. Elizabeth Banks (GBR), 3:38:17; 2. Thomas (USA), 3:38:47; 3. Paladin (ITA), 3:38:47; 4. Malgorzata Jasinska (POL), 3:38:47; 5. Sofie de Vuyst (BEL), 3:38:47. Also in the top 25: 9. Winder (USA), 3:38:47.

Stage 9 (125.5 km): 1. Van der Breggen (NED), 3:26:27; 2. Van Vleuten (NED), 3:26:44; 3. Moolman (RSA), 3:28:05; 4. Spratt (AUS), 3:28:05; 5. Hall (USA), 3:28:24. Also in the top 25: 24. Thomas (USA), 3:31:22.

Stage 10 (120.0 km): 1. Vos (NED), 2:51:45; 2. Brand (NED), 2:51:46; 3. Kopecky (BEL), 2:51:46; 4. Paladin (ITA), 2:51:50; 5. Niewiadoma (POL), 2:51:50. Also in the top 25: 20. Winder (USA), 2:52:01.

Final Standings: 1. Annemiek van Vleuten (NED), 25:01:41; 2. Anna van der Breggen (NED), +3:45; 3. Amanda Spratt (AUS). +6:55; 4. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA), +7:54; 5. Kasia Niewadoma (POL), +7:57; 6. Lucinda Brand (NED), +8:01; 7. Katie Hall (USA), +8:16; 8. Elisa Longo Borghini (ITA), +8:19; 9. Soraya Paladin (ITA), +9:13; 10. Erica Magnaldi (ITA), 9:31. Also in the top 25: 22. Leah Thomas (USA), +17:36.

UCI World Tour/Tour de France
France ~ 6-28 July 2019
(Full results here)

Stage 1 (194.5 km): 1. Mike Teunissen (NED), 4:22:47; 2. Peter Sagan (SVK), 4:22:47; 3. Caleb Ewan (AUS), 4:22:47; 4. Giacomo Nizzolo (ITA), 4:22:47; 5. Sonny Colbrelli (ITA), 4:22:47.

Stage 2 (27.6 km Team Time Trial): 1. Jumbo-Visma (NED), 28:57; 2. Team Ineos (GBR), 29:17; 3. Deceuninck-Quick Step (GER), 29:18; 4. Team Sunweb (GER), 29:23; 5. Team Katusha Alpecin (SUI), 29:23.

Stage 3 (215.0 km): 1. Julien Alaphilippe (FRA), 4:40:29; 2. Michael Matthews (AUS), 4:40:55; 3. Jasper Stuyven (BEL), 4:40:55; 4. Greg van Avermaet (BEL), 4:40:55; 5. Sagan (SVK), 4:40:55.

Stage 4 (213.5 km): 1. Elia Viviani (ITA), 5:09:20; 2. Alexander Kristoff (NOR), 5:09:20; 3. Ewan (AUS), 5:09:20; 4. Sagan (SVk), 5:09:20; 5. Dylan Groenewegen (NED), 5:09:20.

Stage 5 (175.5 km): 1. Sagan (SVK), 4:02:33; 2. Wout van Aert (BEL), 4:02:33; 3. Matteo Trentin (ITA), 4:02:33; 4. Colbrelli (ITA), 4:02:33; 5. van Avermaet (BEL), 4:02:33.

Stage 6 (160.5 km): 1. Dylan Teuns (BEL), 4:29:03; 2. Giulio Ciccone (ITA), 4:29:14; 3. Xandro Meurisse (BEL), 4:30:08; 4. Geraint Thomas (GBR), 4:30:47; 5. Thibaut Pinot (FRA), 4:30:49.

Stage 7 (230.0 km): 1. Groenewegen (NED), 6:02:44; 2. Ewan (AUS), 6:02:44; 3. Sagan (SVK), 6:02:44; 4. Colbrelli (ITA), 6:02:44; 5. Jasper Philipsen (BEL), 6:02:44.

Stage 8 (200.0 km): 1. Thomas de Gendt (BEL), 5:00:17; 2. Thibaut Pinot (FRA), 5:00:23; 3. Alaphilippe (FRA), 5:00:23; 4. Matthews (AUS), 5:00:43; 5. Sagan (SVK), 5:00:43.

Stage 9 (170.5 km): 1. Daryl Impey (RSA), 4:03:12; 2. Tiesj Benoot (BEL), 4:03:12; 3. Jan Tratnik (SLO), 4:03:22; 4. Oliver Naesen (BEL), 4:03:22; 5. Stuyven (BEL), 4:03:22.

15 July: Stage 10 (217.5 km): Saint-Flour to Albi (hilly)
16 July: Rest day
17 July: Stage 11 (167.0 km): Albi to Toulouse (flat)
18 July: Stage 12 (209.5 km): Toulouse to Bagneres-de-Bigorre (high mountains)
19 July: Stage 13 (27.2 km Time Trial): Pau to Pau (flat)
20 July: Stage 14 (117.5 km): Tarbes to Tourmalet (high mountains)
21 July: Stage 15 (185.0 km): Limoux to Foix (mountains)
22 July: Rest day
23 July: Stage 16 (177.0 km): Nîmes to Nîmes (hilly)
24 July: Stage 17 (200.0 km): Pont du Gard to Gap (hilly)
25 July: Stage 18 (208.0 km): Embrun to Valloire (high mountains)
26 July: Stage 19 (126.5 km): Saint-Jean-de-Maurienne to Tignes (high mountains)
27 July: Stage 20 (130.0 km): Albertville to Val Thorens (high mountains)
28 July: Stage 21 (128.0 km): Rambouillet to Paris (flat)

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