Lauren Kitchen has put WM3 Pro Cycling in the limelight in a scorching 7th stage. Our Australian was part of a leading group which slipped away after around 40 kilometres. Lauren sprinted in the streets of Baronissi to a 5th place. The Spanish champion Sheyla Gutierrez was the fastest of the 12-rider breakaway group. The overall ranking remains pretty much untouched. Kasia Niewiadoma is still 6th at a little more than 4 minutes from the leader Anna van der Breggen.
The 7th stage’s 142 kilometres (Isernia – Baronissi) was the longest of the Giro Rosa which was largely dominated by a series of attacks in the first hour of racing. A green-black WM3 Pro Cycling jersey was part of nearly each attempt. Despite an appetite to break away, a proper leading group was not formed. Dani King created the first real successful gap, but got caught again after a couple of kilometres, after which a bigger group was able to get away, including Lauren Kitchen from WM3 Pro Cycling.
Also Anouska Koster was part of it for a short period of time, but fell behind after a flat tire. “A pity for us because Anouska is in good shape and could have helped the team further”, says DS Jeroen Blijlevens who was pleased that his riders had been following the team instructions: to attack and to support Kasia in case the overall contenders would start to interfere.
The escapees collected a lead of well over 4 minutes, even though the chasing group with the main contenders and jerseys came much closer on the Passo Serra, a 6.5 kilometre long climb (4.4%). After this climb, the 12-rider group secured a safe margin. Some teams who were not pleased with the way the race was developing, tried to close the gap in the final, but to no avail. Sheyla Gutierrez outsprinted the Italian Soroya Paladin and the Polish Eugenia Bujak. Lauren Kitchen crossed the finish line as 5th.
“It was a tough and long day. Being part of the break-away made it even harder. I wanted to test my legs and jumped to make it easier for the team. If the overall contenders had shown themselves, I could have made a difference for Kasia”, says Lauren. “I am a bit disappointed that I did not make the podium which I had hoped for when I made an inventory of the break-away group. On the other hand, this is all I could get out of it. I have given it everything, so I have to be satisfied with this result.”
General classification untouched
The general classification remains untouched. Kasia is still 6th at 4 minutes and 2 seconds from the leader Anna van der Breggen. The 28th edition of the Giro Rosa ends this coming Sunday.