The Brazilian rider has impressed with her long solo effort in the Giro d’Italia Women, leading for more than 100km on stage 2, and riding solo for 30km before being caught just 1.8km from the finish.

“I’m probably going to think about the last two kilometres tonight when I go to sleep, but I’m proud of how I raced. It’s my style of racing to attack, and someday, I will win. I’m just going to keep believing and keep showing up, and someday, the breakaway will win,” Magalhães told Cyclingnews after the race.

Magalhães, a 23-year-old Brazilian time trial champion, initially aimed for the mountain classification jersey. However, as her lead over the peloton grew to a maximum of 6:28 minutes, she began to dream of a stage win. “I was thinking about the mountain jersey. But when the time gap increased, I started believing that maybe the stage also would be possible. Unfortunately, it was 1.8km longer than I could sustain,” she said.

Teaming up with Alessia Missiaggia of Top Girls Fassa Bortolo just seven kilometres into the 110km stage, the duo worked together for much of the race. Magalhães dropped Missiaggia on the first of two ascents to Cavriana on the final lap. “We were on the same flow, on the same base, more or less. She helped a lot, and I think she also believed that maybe we could win the stage,” Magalhães noted.

During the finishing circuit, the first climb to Cavriana ended their cooperation as the Italian couldn’t keep up with the Brazilian. Magalhães explained, “I didn’t expect to drop her on the climb. I was doing my own pace because I wanted to take the QOM points. On the top of the climb, I was thinking about whether to wait for her or not, but then I was like, ‘it’s now or never’, so I just kept pushing.”

Although the stage win went to Chiara Consonni, Magalhães collected the blue Queen of the Mountains jersey, becoming only the second Brazilian to wear it after Flávia Oliveira. Finishing in 87th position, she recognised the difficulty of keeping the jersey as stage 3 only features a third-category climb. “Of course I’m going to try to defend it, but I know it’s going to be pretty hard. We will see, there are a lot of strong climbers, stronger than me, but I’m going to try my best,” she said.

Magalhães hopes her performance will inspire others, especially in Brazil, to pursue cycling. “I hope it inspires others, not only Brazilians, to believe in yourself and show up. Today wasn’t the outcome that I was hoping for, but someday it will be, and it’s all going to be worth it,” she said. “We are such a big country with a lot of talent. I know that we are a football country, but it’s such a big country that it can be also a cycling country. I hope that this QOM jersey can inspire the future generation to believe in yourself, to pursue your dreams, and I hope that there will be more Brazilians here racing in Europe,” Magalhães concluded.

All photo credits: LaPresse