Giro d’Italia Donne – Stage 1 TTT goes to Trek Segafredo
The 10-stage Giro d’Italia Donne began with a team time trial (TTT) running from Fossano to Cuneo in the Piedmont region of Northern Italy. This afternoon stage was only 27km with a gradual climb to the finish and set teams up for a speedy first day of racing. It was a hot, sunny summer day in Fossano at around 27 degrees at the race start, prompting many of the racers to do warmups while wearing ice vests to keep cool.
Trek-Segafredo’s squad won the TTT, kickstarting the team’s drive towards the leader’s jersey. American Ruth Winder became the first woman of the 2021 Giro Donne to (ahem) don the pink jersey—a solid start for her pre-Olympic build. Winder will be representing the US on the road in Tokyo, and she particularly loves the team time trial.
Before the race, Winder wrote on Instagram, “TTT might just be one of my favourite disciplines… TTTs are even more special when you feel a large amount of respect for your teammates. Each of my Trek Segafredo teammates are so strong and combined I’m excited to see what we can do. Regardless of the outcome, I know I will always be proud to be among them.”
The teams took to the course in three-minute intervals, and Winder had good reason to be proud. Trek-Segafredo was one of the last teams to start but finished a full eight seconds ahead of the second-place team, SD Worx, in a time of 33:40. Their speed was a blistering 29.56 MPH, even with team member Lizzie Deignan reportedly dealing with a technical issue early on in the race.
“It wasn’t the plan for me to cross the line first and take the pink jersey,” Winder said in Trek Segafredo’s press release. “We were all just going full-gas to the line, and it just happened that around the last round-about, I was second behind Ellen van Dijk, and we were just sprinting full for the line.”
The Trek Segafredo team includes the double threat of GC contenders Lucinda Brand and Elisa Longo Borghini, and the boost from the team win will put them in a good position heading into the second stage. (Longo Borghini finished third overall in the 2020 Giro Donne.)
“We tried very hard today because we have such a strong leader with Elisa, who is super strong and super Italian, very proud, and this race means a lot to her,” Winder added.
Team SD Worx, with three-time Giro Donne winner Anna van der Breggen, finished in second, while Alé BTC Ljubljana finished third and 40 seconds behind the leaders. They were followed by Canyon SRAM Racing and Movistar Team.
Saturday’s stage will kick off racing in earnest as riders begin to battle it out to see who will be in the pink jersey (the Giro Donne’s version of the yellow leader’s jersey) at the end of the day. The stage is just under 100km, with more than 2 000 meters of climbing. The final kilometres will be worth watching since much of the climbing happens in one final, brutal mountain finish.