Boels-Dolmans at the Giro Rosa
Anna van der Breggen, the uncontested Queen of Spring is showing no signs of tiring as the season rolls on. Maybe it’s early days, but she’s looking like upgrading her title to Queen of 2017. The European road race champion rests at the top of the UCI rankings and currently tops the general classification standings at the Giro Rosa with more than a minute’s buffer over second. In Boels-Dolmans, Van der Breggen is part of a formidable team at the Giro Rosa with the defending champion, British national champion and world champion in their ranks. No wonder there are three riders in the top-10 Overall!
Let’s take a look at some key moments for Boels-Dolmans at the Giro Rosa so far:
Strength in numbers
The Giro Rosa started with an 11.5km team time trial on stage 1. With last year’s winner, Megan Guarnier, in the line-up, Boels-Dolmans were last to roll off the start ramp. Team Sunweb had set a strong time, but the reigning TTT world champions were too fast and polished for the rest of the field, ultimately taking 19 seconds out of the best time. That put Canadian workhorse, Carol-Ann Canuel, into the first pink jersey of the competition.
There’s no forgetting that incredible week of the Ardennes Classics in which Anna van der Breggen proved she was the strongest rider across three consecutive races. Also in amongst it at those races was fellow-Dutch rider, Annemiek van Vleuten, riding for Orica-Scott. On stage 2 of the Giro Rosa, van der Breggen found herself in a breakaway with van Vleuten and Elisa Longo Borghini, and the trio made it all the way to the line. Though van der Breggen was this time outpaced by van Vleuten, she had ridden herself into the pink jersey and has held it since.
New bike day
Though not strictly a ‘moment’, the team’s new bikes have been drawing attention from all corners of the cycling world. Debuting at the Giro Rosa are the new S-Works Tarmac women’s frames, reflecting the men’s performance range for the very first time. The approach taken with this new model is “Rider First, Gender Second”. This all comes following research which concluded that gender is not necessarily the way to tackle fit and geometry, rather the type of rider. Though handlebar width, crank arm length and saddle preference do remain gender-specific, it was found that there was no statistical difference in position (for a competitive road rider) correlating to gender.
The new Tarmac benefits from a reimagined design that steps away from the familiar profile. Countless data points were built into the construction of a frame that is stiff and compliant in all the right places, contributing to the development of a performance geometry that perfects the combination of responsive front end and short wheelbase, delivering optimal power transfer.
Although Anna van der Breggen looks unbeatable wrapped in her pink jersey and nurses a fairly comfortable lead, it is never over until the fat lady sings. There are still a few hard and fast stages to come and, as is the nature of women’s pro cycling, anything could happen between now and Sunday. Be sure to keep an eye on news of the pink jersey and look out for more news of the innovative new Tarmac range in the coming weeks!
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