Megan Guarnier remains in the maglia rosa of Giro Rosa race leader following a fast but straightforward sprint stage on Saturday. The American road champion finished on bunch time on stage eight to maintain her 34-second advantage over teammate Evie Stevens in second place and nearly two-minute advantage over Anna van der Breggen (Rabobank-Liv) in third place.
“My race lead never felt under any threat,” said Guarnier. “We were fine with the situation all day.”
The situation Guarnier referenced was a fast-paced race that saw numerous escape attempts over the 99-kilometre stage. The final break of the day was caught inside the last two kilometres of the race. Giorgia Bronzini (Wiggle High5) sprinted to victory in Legnano. Guarnier was 18th across the line.
“It was fast all day,” Guarnier noted. “There were a few breaks with riders away right up until the end. It was a long, fast motor pacing session. There were always attacks or it was single file. It never really relented.”
“The finish was pretty chaotic,” she added. “That happens in bunch sprints.”
While Boels-Dolmans Cycling Team is sitting pretty with one stage left to race, Guarnier isn’t counting her proverbial chickens just yet. The ninth stage of the race starts and finishes in Verbania. The last stage includes one GPM, a second category climb that comes 12-kilometres before the finish line.
“It’s never a given in this sport,” said Guarnier. “I suspect tomorrow is going to be another challenging day. We need to stay focused and be ready to carry the pressure.”