American Evelyn Stevens solos to stage win, overall lead in 2012 Giro Donne

Double-stage winner and defending champ Marianne Vos slips to second overall

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CASTIGLIONE DEI PEPOLI, Italy (VN) — American Evelyn Stevens (Specialized-Lululemon) grabbed the pink leader’s jersey from Marianne Vos (Rabobank) on Sunday after stage 3 of the 2012 Giro Donne.

In the first mountain stage of the race, Stevens crossed the line alone, gaining a 12-second advantage in the general classification.

Vos, who took the overall win in last year’s Giro Donne and won the first two stages of the 2012 edition, finished fourth on the day and slipped to second in GC.

“I’m so excited,” said Stevens. “I wanted to come here to the Giro and give it everything and today was the first stage that I thought I could do something. It was fun racing and worked out really well for us in the end.”

Rounding out the podium after Sunday’s 124km grind through the mountains were Italian Fabiana Luperini (Faren Honda) in second and Great Britain’s Emma Pooley (AA in third.

Luperini’s second place earned her the blue Santero jersey for best Italian rider, while Pooley earned the green Epiù Energia-Gruppo Iseni jersey for the mountain classification. Pooley also sits third on GC at 31 seconds back.

The white Servetto jersey for best young rider went to Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products Mistral Home), who finished sixth on the day. Vos is leading the points competition and will wear the yellow Rock No War jersey on Monday.

Monday’s stage 4 takes riders on a 98km route in Tuscany, from Montecatini to Montecatini Alto. The route is rolling until kilometer 66, when riders climb for 10km to the summit of Goraiolo, a Cat. 2 climb. After the descent, riders face a steep 3km climb to the finish.


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