Megan Guarnier took another fourth place finish in the Giro Rosa on Thursday. In the stage seven individual time trial, she set a time of 49'23". World ITT champion Annemiek van Vleuten (Mitchelton-Scott) won the stage with a time of 46'06", over two minutes faster than Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (Cervélo-Bigla) in second place. With her win, Van Vleuten takes over the pink jersey from teammate Amanda Spratt.
"I am happy with how I rode today," said Guarnier. "I gave it everything and that's all you can ask for in a time trial. It was a very difficult time trial and I am happy with my performance."
The time trial may have been short in distance at only 15 kilometers, but it definitely wasn't short in duration. It was a gruelling uphill time trial with 1.000 altitude meters. For most of the riders, today was just a day to get through without too much effort - if that was even possible.
Skylar Schneider was the first Boels-Dolmans rider to roll off the start ramp. She stopped the clock at just under the hour when she reached the top.
"There was no pressure for me in the TT other than to finish it," Schneider said. "So I enjoyed the views! There were some challenging steep parts, but the last few kilometers were more forgiving as it flattened out."
"So far, I'm quite shocked that I am still feeling good in this Giro!" Scheider continued. "It was pretty last minute for me to be here, so I only expected to make it a few stages. My approach is to race every stage as if it's my last, because my first priority is to be a good teammate."
Luxembourg champion Christine Majerus already worked tremendously during the first six stages of the 2018 Giro Rosa, but was still able to get a very decent time trial out of her legs. When she crossed the line, she set the third fastest time at 52'59".
"I didn't aim for the time trial at all," Majerus said, also telling about the beautiful views she enjoyed during her ride up to Dighe di Campo Moro. "I didn't have any watts or whatsoever and didn't know my time. But I think I just had a good speed."
As the number eight overall, Guarnier was the seventh to last to take to the start. At the intermediate point, she set the second fastest time at the moment, with a time of 24'14". At the finish line, she moved into the hot seat with a time of 49'23".
Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM) and Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (Cervélo-Bigla) weren't able to beat the time of Guarnier, but it was different for Van Vleuten, who already impressed at the intermediate point, where she set the fastest time at 23'13".
Van Vleuten, on a proper time trial bike, passed several riders during her ride and was more than two minutes faster than anyone else. With three stages to go, she is the new wearer of the pink jersey, with almost three minutes on the number two, Spratt and three, Moolman-Pasio. Guarnier jumped up to sixth overall going into stage eight.
“For me, I need to take each day as it comes,” said Guarnier. “After losing that minute due to the crash in the final of stage two, my main objective is to keep positive and not get caught up in what has passed.”