With 40 km to go in stage 2 of the Giro della Toscana -Memorial Michela Fanini, the battle for the stage win and the leader’s jersey was to be decided in a break of 10 riders. The riders which included Team TIBCO’s Lauren Hall and Jamie Bookwalter of Team USA, escaped after seven kilometers into the 137-km and pushed the gap to over six minutes at one point.
As the riders approached the town of Volterra, the break split as they headed up the ascent of two Category 1 climbs. Malgorzata Jasinska (MCipollini-Giambenini) took off to secure the win. Behind her, Hall followed in a group of five. In the final kilometer of the summit finish stage, Hall attacked her breakaway companions to secure 2nd place, crossing the line one minute and two seconds after the winner. Valentina Bastianelli (Viano-Pepso) was third, a further seven seconds behind. Bookwalter took fourth, one minute and 20 seconds after the winner.
Two minutes back, a group of seven including defending champion Megan Guarnier (TIBCO) split from the field and headed to the finish. Guarnier out-sprinted her rivals and took some time from the other GC riders.
“The Team is doing an incredible job here at the Giro,” said Team TIBCO European directeur sportif Angela van Smoorenburg. “Several of our riders are capable of winning the overall and I am pleased with how confident the Team is racing.”
Jasinska leads GC with 52 seconds on Hall and one minute and 14 seconds on Bastianelli. Bookwalter sits in fifth, one minute and 42 seconds down. Guarnier is currently in 10th place for the Giro overall, at three minutes and five seconds.
Tomorrow’s Stage 3 includes four Category 2 climbs and a Category 1 ascent that tops out just 11 kilometers before the downhill finish. The battle for the leader’s jersey will be fierce as the riders tackle the tough penultimate stage of the Giro della Toscana. Sunday will close out the Giro with the mostly flat Stage 4 from Lucca to Firenze.