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Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) clinched the overall title in the 2015 Giro Rosa on Sunday after finishing second to two-time winner Mara Abbott (Wiggle Honda) in the final stage.
Abbott attacked late in the 91.2km stage to San Domenico di Varzo, taking the victory and propelling herself to second on GC. But van der Breggen crossed second on the day, 55 seconds behind Abbott, and cemented her place as overall winner.
“It’s unbelievable to win the Giro,” said Van der Breggen. “It feels great to be able to do this for the team.”
Abbott likewise gave credit to her team for its support.
“This was a really amazing way to finish the Giro,” Abbott said. “I am so grateful to the team for having faith in me until the end.”
The ninth and final stage of the 26th Giro Rosa traveled from Vebania to the ski resort at San Domenico di Varzo. The finishing climb to the ski resort was not for the faint of heart; an average gradient of 8 percent for 13km showed the true climbers of this year’s race.
The breakaway was not established until late in the stage and included no riders that threatened the general classification. The leaders only held an advantage of about one minute at the base of the final climb, as Wiggle Honda took control at the front of the peloton.
After being paced by her teammates, Abbott attacked with roughly 7km remaining and only van der Breggen could follow. With about 4km left Abbott made a last-ditch effort to try to claim the overall. Her attack distanced the Rabo-Liv rider, but Abbott could not overcome the two-minute deficit she had entering the stage, and settled for the stage win.
“Of course I was tense,” said van der Breggen. “But when Mara drove away I felt pretty safe. I more or less let her go and rode at my own pace.”
Former leader Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) was able to retain her place on the final podium, finishing the stage 1 minute and 13 seconds behind Abbott. Guarnier claimed third overall, 1:43 behind van der Breggen, besting her seventh place she earned last year.
This concluded an impressive week for American riders, which included multiple top 10s, two stage wins, five maglia rosas for Guarnier, and three riders in the top 10 of the final general classification.
Top 10, stage 9: Verbania to San Domenico di Varzo (91.2km):
1. Mara Abbott (Wiggle Honda) 2h34’16”
2. Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) +55”
3. Flavia Oliveira (Ale Cipollini) +1’13”
4. Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) +1’46”
5. Ashleigh Moolman (Bigla Pro Cycling Team) +146”
6. Francesca Cauz (Ale Cipollini) +1’55”
7. Katazyna Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) +2’14”
8. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv) +2’14”
9. Tetyana Riabchenko (Inpa Sottoli Giusredi) +3’12”
10. Claudia Litchtenberg (Team Liv-Plantur) +4’35”
General classification after stage 9:
1. Anna van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv) 24h15’08”
2. Mara Abbott (Wiggle Honda) +1’30”
3. Megan Guarnier (Boels Dolmans) +1’43”
4. Ashleigh Moolman (Bigla Pro Cycling Team) +2’12”
5. Katazyna Niewiadoma (Rabo-Liv) +3’11”
6. Pauline Ferrand-Prevot (Rabo-Liv) +6’57”
7. Flavia Oliveira (Ale Cipollini) +7’35”
8. Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda) +8’17””
9. Evelyn Stevens (Boels Dolmans) +9’08”
10. Shara Gillow (Rabo-Liv) +10’07”
The jerseys of the 26th Giro Rosa after stage 9:
Pink jersey: Anna Van der Breggen (Rabo-Liv)
Ciclamino jersey: Megan Guarnier (Boels-Dolmans)
Green jersey: Flavia Oliveira (Alè-Cipollini)
White jersey: Katarzyna Niewadoma (Rabo-Liv)
Blue jersey: Elisa Longo Borghini (Wiggle Honda)