Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling’s Kirsten Wild was not quite able to match her stage-winning performance of the previous day, as she finished second in the third stage of the Giro Rosa, on a technical circuit around the town of Corbetta. The triple Track World Champion crossed the line just ahead of Alexis Ryan (Canyon-SRAM), but was jut unable to catch former black and orange rider Jolien D’hoore (Mitchelton-Scott).
“If I look at my history with the Giro I think I can be happy, because I didn’t have the greatest relationship with it,” Wild smiled afterwards. “Especially with these technical finish lines, I’m not so good at, so I think I can be happy with second.
“I felt like I made a little mistake,” she conceded. "I think I was too early in the front, and then we were fighting for the last corner with the three of us. We lost a lot of speed and they came from the back with a lot of speed, and that was a bit unfortunate.”
The flat, but technical 16.5km circuit was completed eight times in the 132km stage, Wild took first place in the Intermediate Sprint at the end of lap two, before a three-rider break got away. The leaders were allowed to open up a gap of almost two minutes before Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling, with the assistance of the other sprinters’ teams, pulled them back in time for the finish.
“It was the same as yesterday,” Wild explained. “There were three riders off the front, with nobody chasing. But today it was a lot more with the other teams; I think the other teams think they have to win and Wiggle High5 already has their win, so if they don’t do it, nobody will do it.
“They did a really good job on the front again, keeping the speed high and chasing the break back. It’s really nice to see team working like this, having all the same goal, it’s really nice.”
With Audrey Cordon-Ragot, Martina Ritter and Japanese Champion Eri Yonamine working to bring the breakaway back once again, Wild was accompanied in the peloton by Swedish Champion Emilia Fahlin and Elisa Longo Borghini. The two riders managed to keep Wild at the front of the peloton, but the finish proved to be a little too complicated for her to take the victory.
“It was a really technical finish,” Wild explained. “First of all, with 10km to go, we went into a small part of the course, so we knew we had to be at the front, and so we were - Elisa and me - the other girls did their job before. We decided to stay with just three of us, because it was so technical you couldn’t go with the whole team.
“Elisa and me were together in the last 3km, but it was so technical. There were cobbles, past a church with old cobbles and a square and everything. It was very Italian!” she laughed.
“It was like an elimination,” Wild added, referring to one of the four events in the Omnium, in which she is reigning World Champion. “Every corner there were riders going out of the corner, and we had to pass a gap a few times.
“From 3km to 500 metres it was really technical.”
Wild’s second place finish, added to her victory on stage two, have given the Dutch sprinter a commanding lead in the Points Classification. While the track World Champion is delighted with the honour of continuing to wear the Cyclamen Jersey, she feels it is too early in the race to make it a target in itself.
“Actually I didn’t think about it before, but it might be a good opportunity,” she smiled. “The target was for a stage, and the classement with Elisa, and this is like a nice bonus. It’s still the same goals, we are still going for stage wins, and if we win the jersey like that it’s nice.
“If not we still go for stage wins,” she added.
1. Jolien D’hoore (Mitchelton-Scott)
2. Kirsten Wild (Wiggle High5 Pro Cycling)
3. Alexis Ryan (Canyon-SRAM)
Photo Credit: Vélofocus