Giro Rosa 2018: Annemiek van Vleuten secures title with third stage win

Ashleigh Moolman Pasio, Annemiek van Vleuten and Amanda Spratt celebrate on the Giro Rosa podium
Annemiek van Vleuten dominated the race, with Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (left) second and Amanda Spratt (right) third

Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten secured her first Giro Rosa title with victory in the final stage.

It was the third stage win and second in two days for the Mitchelton-Scott rider in the 10-stage race, the women's equivalent of the Giro d'Italia.

The 35-year-old attacked with 5km of the 120km route to go, taking the line solo in Cividale del Friuli.

South Africa's Ashleigh Moolman Pasio finished second overall, four minutes 12 seconds down on Van Vleuten.

Amanda Spratt made it two Mitchelton-Scott riders on the podium as the Australian claimed third, six minutes 30 seconds behind her team-mate.

World time trial champion Van Vleuten took the leader's pink jersey from Spratt with victory in the individual time trial on stage seven.

She followed that with a superb late attack to win stage nine on the famous Monte Zoncolan, which features 10.5km of climbing at a 11.5% average gradient.

Again she proved too strong for her rivals on Sunday, kicking clear after the final climb of the day and soloing to the finish, 27 seconds in front of the chasing pack.

It caps a stunning period of success for Van Vleuten since recovering from three fractures in her back, sustained in a horrific crash during the 2016 Olympic road race in Rio.

Last year she won the Dutch national road race title, La Course and the world individual time trial crown, also finishing third in the Giro Rosa.

In April she finished third in both the Tour of Flanders and Liege-Bastogne-Liege one-day classics.

Final general classification

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned/Mitchelton-Scott) 25hrs 50mins 22secs

2. Ashleigh Moolman Pasio (SA/Cervelo-Bigla) +4mins 12secs

3. Amanda Spratt (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott) +6mins 30secs

4. Lucinda Brand (Ned/Sunweb) +7mins 36secs

5. Megan Guarnier (US/Boels-Dolams) +9mins 20secs

6. Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Den/Cervelo-Bigla) +10mins 38secs

7. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol/Canyon-SRAM) +10mins 46secs

8. Eider Merino (Spa/Movistar) +12mins 37secs

9. Ane Santesteban (Spa/Ale Cippolini) +13mins 12secs

10. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita/Wiggle High5) +13mins 47secs

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