Emma Pooley took the fight to Giro Donne leader Marianne Vos by winning the eighth stage of this year’s race, a short 89km stage that finished at the top of the Torri di Fraele climb.
The Garmin-Cervelo rider and Vos (Nederland Bloeit) engaged in an enthralling battle on the way into the finish, the last 2km of which were on gravel roads.
Vos managed to stay with the Brit and took second on the stage, but even if Pooley couldn’t drop the race leader she consolidated her second place after an epic day in the Italian rain.
Australian Ruth Corset (Bizkaia Durango) took third on the stage, finishing 1-29 back having initially followed Pooley and Vos’ acceleration on the lower slopes of the final climb.
Speaking to Cycling Weekly after the stage, Pooley admitted she’ll continue to fight for the pink jersey despite the 2-32 gap to Vos.
“I’ve got to keep trying, not only for stage wins but for the GC,” she said.
“It was a fantastic stage today, it was really tough and fast from the gun, and the finish was truly spectacular.
“I tried my best to drop Marianne but it just seems like she’s got no weaknesses at the minute.”
Vos has won four of the eight stages thus far, and shows no signs of relinquishing her lead.
Praising her, Pooley said: “She’s just fantastic. I’m not arrogant enough to say I’m going to win the race, but I’ll give it a go.”
Giro Donne 2011 stage eight: Teglio – Valdidentro Torri di Fraele, 89km
1. Emma Pooley (GB) Garmin-Cervélo in 2-25-45
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit at st
3. Ruth Corset (Aus) Bizkaia-Durango at 1-29
4. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Highroad Women at 2-39
5. Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Gauss at 2-49
General Classification after stage eight
1. Marianne Vos (Ned) Nederland Bloeit
2. Emma Pooley (GB) Garmin-Cervélo at 2-32
3. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Highroad Women at 7-39
4. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana at 7-46
5. Sylwia Kapusta (Pol) Gauss at 10-07