Last year’s runner-up, Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (CCC-Liv) was one of the favourites for an overall podium place at the Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile. But as the South African climber struggles on the lower end of the top-10, her teammate Marianne Vos has given the team three stage wins so far during the 10-day race. Her success indicates that she is on track toward being a serious contender for another rainbow jersey at the Yorkshire World Championships in September.
“The pure joy of a stage victory,” Vos wrote in a post on social media after her stage 7 victory. “Thanks CCC-Liv for the trust and support. A win from all of us. Had to dig deep until the end, but definitely worth it.”
Moolman-Pasio had a solid start to this year’s race and moved into third place overall after the first real mountain stage to Lago di Cancano. She then fell off the pace in the uphill time trial, losing 3:27 minutes to stage winner and maglia rosa Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) and dropped to ninth place in the general classification.
“Ashleigh didn’t race as fast as she normally can,” CCC-Liv sports director Jeroen Blijlevens said after Wednesday’s ITT. “There is no clear identifiable cause. It is a pity, even more so since she was well-placed before. We don’t give up, but the podium seems out of reach now.”
Moolman-Pasio came into the race as an unknown after she suffered several injuries in the months leading up to the Italian stage race. A hard crash in the final of the Amstel Gold Race caused a vertebral compression injury that wasn’t diagnosed at first. She raced the other Ardennes classics before seeking treatment.
A third place overall at the Tour of California indicated that Moolman-Pasio was on the right track again and recovering well, but in a crash on stage 3 of the OVO Energy Women’s Tour four weeks ago, she sprained her ankle and bruised her back again.
You can read more at Cyclingnews.com