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SALSOMAGGIORE TERME, Italy (VN) — Stage 6 of the 2012 Giro Donne from Modena to Salsomaggiore Terme saw the peloton packed tightly together for the entire 122.2km course — but in the end, it was U.S. Olympic team member Shelley Olds (AA Drink-Leontien.nl) who came out on top in the bunch-sprint finish.
How fitting for the Fourth of July.
Dutch frontrunner and defending champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank) finished just behind Olds in second. Vos still leads both the general classification and the points competition, having relinquished the pink Pasta Zara jersey for just one day to American Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-Lululemon).
World champion Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora Pasta Zara) earned a podium spot for the second consecutive day, finishing third in the stage.
Stevens remains in second in the general classification, 1:44 behind Vos. Emma Pooley (AA Drink) is in third at 2:20 back.
For the third straight day, the jersey wearers remain unchanged. Vos is in control of pink and yellow. The white Servetto jersey for best young rider still belongs to Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products Mistral Home), while the blue Santero jersey for best Italian rider is in the hands of Fabiana Luperini (Faren Honda) for the fourth consecutive day. The green Epiù Energia-Gruppo Iseni for the mountain classification is still held by Pooley.
Thursday’s stage 7 is a 129.1km route from Voghera to Castagnola delle Lanze. Riders will climb gradually for 115km before reaching the 4km Camo peak, a Cat. 2 climb. A 10km descent from Camo takes the course into the finish.
With just three stages remaining, Vos’ challengers for the overall lead will need to make their moves in the mountains.