Giro d'Italia Women 2023
The 2023 Giro d’Italia Donne is the second Grand Tour of the women's WorldTour season and takes place between June 30 and July 9
Giro d'Italia Donne stage 9
On the final day of the Giro Donne 2023, it was another hot day out as the peloton crossed the northern tip of Sardinia, heading towards a flat and fast finish in Olbia.
A few riders spent brief stints off the front, and some riders tried to shake things up and disrupt the sprinters in the final 40km, but the sprint teams made sure everything was brought back together before the finale.
Canyon-SRAM once again tried to said things up for Dygert, but the American faded against the pure sprinters as Chiara Consonni (UAE Team ADQ) emerged the fastest, delivering a victory for the team on Marta Bastianelli's final day as a professional.
Safely getting through the final weekend without having to defend her lead at all, Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) rolled in to seal her overall victory and take home the fourth maglia rosa of her career, and her second Grand Tour win in her final season before retirement.
Giro d'Italia Donne stage 8
After a rest day to travel to Sardinia for the final weekend of the Giro Donne, the racing started up again on stage 8 with an undulating course from Nuoro to Sassari.
The racing was so aggressive that hardly any riders were able to get any real breakaway attempts up the road, and all was together going into the last 30km, when the favourites started attacking each other. Despite some big names going on the offensive, none of them stuck and it came back together for a sprint finish on the uphill drag to the line.
Chloé Dygert (Canyon-SRAM) had the best lead-out from teammate Sarah Roy, but it was a battle of strength to the line and at the last moment Blanka Vas (SD Worx) was able to come around the American to take the biggest win of her career yet.
Giro d'Italia Donne stage 7
With yesterday’s commanding stage win, the Italian stage race has become the Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) show. Van Vleuten, with her interminable attacking style, was surely looking to replicate it one again.
With 11km to the finish Van Vleuten made her first move, pulling away with Gaia Realini (Lidl-Trek) and Juliette Labous (dsm-firmenich). The two climbers gamely stuck with Van Vleuten over the penultimate climb and descent, but when the Dutch woman attacked on the last climb the pair was unable to respond. All that was left for Van Vleuten to do was cruise to the top and collect her 102nd career win.
Giro d'Italia Donne stage 6
Is there any day that's not an Annemiek van Vleuten day at the Giro Donne? On a stage that should have been easier on paper, the maglia rosa couldn't resist an attack, and put in an unfollowable move to solo to her second stage victory of the race, and further extend her lead in the general classification.
It was an exciting race behind, though, as so-called sprinter Lorena Wiebes (SD Worx) managed to stay with a very elite group of climbers and GC contenders, before beating them all on the tough uphill finish in Canelli.
Giro d'Italia Donne stage 5
Stage 5 of the Giro delivered a dramatic day of racing, not only because of the 10km climb that started the day, but also for the technical and crash-filled descent that ended it.
After Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) tried her signature move of attacking from the base of the Passo del Lupo, the first climb, things came back together again and the race came down to the final sequence of smaller climbs.
25km from the finish, it was Canyon-SRAM's Antonia Niedermaier who launched the climb that stuck, going over the top of Silvia Persico (UAE Team ADQ) on the penultimate climb with a solo move that would never be brought back.
Van Vleuten and Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) set off in pursuit of the German, but their chase was hampered by separate crashes on the final descent which saw the pink jersey unscathed, but Longo Borghini bruised and bloodied after a heavier fall.
In the end, Van Vleuten recovered to hold onto second on the stage, but Longo Borghini limped in minutes down as her GC hopes disappeared, and likely her further participation in the race.
Giro d'Italia Donne stage 4
Stage 4 was a difficult day to predict, featuring three medium climbs in the finish that could draw out a GC fight, or they could let a breakaway go, or the strongest sprinters could even survive the finale for a gallop to the line.
For some time, it looked like the early breakaway may have a chance, but going into the last two climbs, the GC riders started attacking. Veronica Ewers (EF Education-TIBCO-SVB) was the first to attack and go past the remains of the breakaway, but soon Elisa Longo Borghini (Lidl-Trek) and Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) followed with an attack on the final climb.
The trio tried attacking each other on the run-in, but ultimately it came down to a sprint, with Longo Borghini proving the fastest to take the first win for Lidl-Trek and their new sponsor. All three riders benefited on GC, taking more time on the rest of the GC hopefuls and now making up the provisional podium.
Giro d'Italia Donne stage 3
Stage 3 of the Giro Donne brought an opportunity for the sprinters, with an almost totally flat day on the cards.
Two separate breakaways were let up the road across the day, but both were destined to be caught with the sprint teams keeping a very tight grip on the stage.
Coming towards the finish, all the attackers had been reeled back in and it was time to sprint. SD Worx organised a near-perfect lead-out - a difficult task on the technical run-in that saw GC times neutralised - and dropped Lorena Wiebes off at the perfect moment, allowing her to pick up yet another win. Marianne Vos (Jumbo-Visma) finished second with Chloé Dygert (Canyon-SRAM) in third.
Giro d'Italia Donne stage 2
After the cancellation of stage 1, stage 2 offered the first opportunity for a stage win and to take the pink jersey. Despite being only the second stage, it was a tough course with a big climb towards the finish and the GC riders certainly took advantage.
Defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) attacked on the climb, and pulled out a lead on her competitors to win the stage solo. It wasn't a Van Vleuten destruction - she has been known to take minutes on single stages before - but she claimed 40 seconds on the group of GC riders who finished behind her.
Giro d'Italia Donne stage 1
Set to be a 4.4km time trial around Chianiciano Terme, stage 1 of the 2023 Giro d'Italia Donne was cancelled mid-way through due to heavy rain and stormy conditions, triggering the extreme weather protocol.
Around 70 of the 167 riders were able to set a time, including stage favourites Annemiek van Vleuten (Movistar) and Chloé Dygert (Canyon-SRAM), but it was Letizia Paternoster (Jayco AlUla) who set the fastest time before the cancellation.
However, with so many riders unable to start, no stage winner, pink jersey or GC times were given, and the classifications started from scratch on stage 2.
Giro d'Italia Donne 2023 background
The Giro d'Italia Donne a nine-day stage-race more commonly known as the Giro Donne, has been the pinnacle of the women’s racing season for the best part of three decades. With a number of stages in the high mountains of the Italian Alps, time trials and a handful of undulating stages, the race is one of the truest tests of a rider’s overall abilities.
The race was first held back in 1988, launching under the name ‘Giro Donne’ and sitting alongside the now defunct Tour Cycliste Féminin as one of the two Grand Tours on the women’s racing calendar. From 2010 up until 2021 the race stood as the only Grand Tour on the calendar, but with the arrival of the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift it now shares this status with another week-long stage race.
Held in late June/early July each year, the race often coincides with the men’s Tour de France. This year the race will clash with the first half of the men’s Tour, but thankfully there’ll be a two-week-long break between the end of the race - July 9th - and the start of the Tour de France Femmes - July 23rd. This clear distinction between the two events will mean that a handful of riders will be able to target a historic Giro-Tour double, à la Annemiek van Vleuten who completed the historic feat last year.
The race’s organisers have routinely experimented with the Giro Donne’s route, taking it over new and previously uncharted terrain that the men’s peloton haven’t even tackled. Several of Italy’s most famous mountain passes have also been incorporated into previous editions, like the Monte Zoncolan, Passo dello Stelvio and Mortirolo. These mountains, combined with decisive time trials and hilly stages across undulating terrain, make the Giro a race for the most complete all-rounders.
Three-time winner Marianne Vos is testament to this. The Dutchwoman is widely regarded as the greatest of all time (GOAT) and the most complete bike rider on the planet, with world titles in nearly all of cycling’s major disciplines - including road, track and cyclocross. While she may be the best all-rounder, Vos doesn’t hold the record for the most overall titles at the Giro Donne, that honour is bestowed upon Italian Fabiana Luperini who won five editions between 1995 and 2008.
Vos’ compatriot Anna van der Breggen sits just behind Luperini on the race’s winners list with four overall titles to her name, having won the race in 2015, 2017, 2020 and 2021. Her nation, the Netherlands, holds the record for the most wins with 10. Vos and Van der Breggen have taken a big bulk of these, but Van Vleuten has also contributed with three overall titles of her own in 2018, 2019 and 2022.
The Dutch have dominated the race since Vos took their first title in 2011, winning all but three editions since. This year, with Vos far from her GC-stomping days, Van der Breggen long retired and Van Vleuten deep into her final year as a pro, there’s a great chance for another nation to finally put an end to the Netherlands’ run of dominance.
The question is, who will? Will it be the home favourite Elisa Longo Borghini, a two-time podium finisher looking to become the first Italian winner since 2008? Or will it be one of the handful of young superstars destined for future greatness, like France’s Juliette Labous, Hungary’s Blanka Vas or New Zealand’s Niamh Fisher-Black? Be sure to tune into our coverage of the race on GCN+ from June 30th to July 9th to find out!
Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile - Key Facts
Date: Late June-Early July
Local Name: Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile
Race Type: Stage Race (Grand Tour)
Organiser: PMG Sport/Starlight
First Edition: 1988
Nº of Editions: 33 (as of 2022)
First Winner: Maria Canins (Ita)
Most Wins: Fabiana Luperini (Ita) - 5 times
Most Recent Winner: Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned)
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2Lidl-Trek Team Talk: The future is bright, but was 2023 disappointing?
3A beginner’s guide to the Giro d’Italia
4Elisa Longo Borghini calls time on ‘complicated’ 2023 season
5Documentary: The monstrous Monte Zoncolan
29 Jun - 21 Jul
Tour de France
12 Aug - 18 Aug
Tour de France Femmes
4 May - 26 May
19 Feb - 25 Feb
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