In a thrilling finish at Volta Mantovana, Chiara Consonni of UAE Team ADQ surged to victory on stage 2 of the Giro d’Italia Women. The 25-year-old Italian sprinted past world champion Lotte Kopecky and Elisa Balsamo, winner of the 2021 rainbow jersey, to claim her first stage win of this edition. All this after finally catching Tota Magalhães in the final 2 kilometres of the stage.

Consonni reflected on her victory, saying, “I have no words, really. The breakaway went for six minutes, and we were a little bit scared, but the team was super, they did a really, really good job. We knew that the final was hard, I saw the crashes the first time we passed the finish line. I really was super focused on my sprint because I know that I don’t have a lot of opportunities [at this Giro], but really, I did as well as possible, I think.”

The race unfolded dramatically as Tota Magalhães from BePink-Bongioanni launched a long solo breakaway with Alessia Missiaggia of Top Girls Fassa Bortolo just seven kilometres into the 110km stage. Magalhães dropped her companion on the first of two ascents to Cavriani and continued to lead the race until the final 2 kilometres.

Tota Magalhães

Despite Magalhães’ valiant effort, the peloton timed their chase perfectly. Anouska Koster of Uno-X Mobility attempted a late attack but was caught with just over 500 metres remaining. Kopecky then made her move, launching her sprint off Mylene de Zoete’s wheel, but Consonni capitalised on the opportunity, overtaking the world champion in the final metres as the road gently rose again to secure the win.

Meanwhile, Elisa Longo Borghini of Lidl-Trek retained the maglia rosa from yesterday’s time trial, maintaining her slim one-second lead over Australian Grace Brown. The Italian secured her position after a safe finish in the bunch, setting the stage for the first uphill finish in Toano.

“It was pretty hot but it’s nice to have some sun and it gave a good atmosphere in the bunch. I think the heat made it quite hard in the finale,” commented Franziska Koch of Team dsm-firmenich PostNL. “It started off really easy as the break went early and then the bunch just rolled along. In the last 40 kilometres, it was quite hard because some teams tried to chase and bring back the break so the speed was higher, plus the roads were pretty narrow and technical with some road furniture. The goal was to keep Juliette safe and not lose time, and we did that, so I think it was a good stage for us.”

Kim Le Court of AG Insurance–Soudal secured an impressive sixth place, and her teammate Marthe Goossens finished fifteenth. Le Court shared her experience, “It was expected to be a hectic stage because it was the first real stage, with a finish on a circuit of two laps with very narrow, cornery roads. We had to position ourselves well and fight for our spots. The team rode really well together, and we stayed together for almost the entire race. Towards the end, it got incredibly fast and aggressive. Marthe and I tried to stick together, and we managed to do so. Unfortunately, in the last corner, I didn’t have the fastest acceleration compared to the big sprinters like Consonni, so I stayed in my position. Overall, I am satisfied with the race and felt really good. It was extremely hot today, and I struggled a bit with hydration because I missed a few feed zones. But the whole team feels good, and we are excited for the rest of the week. I am happy that we all finished in one piece.”

With the stage 2 results in, the Giro d’Italia Women continues to build anticipation as the riders face their first summit finish in Toano, marking a crucial point for the maglia rosa contenders.

2024 Giro d’Italia Women Stage 2 result

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All photo credits: La Presse