Niamh Fisher-Black rides to podium finish in queen stage Giro Donne

Niamh Fisher-Black rides to podium finish in queen stage Giro Donne

"I needed this confidence boost"


In the queen stage of the Giro Donne, it was climbing almost from the start. After two difficult days, Niamh Fisher-Black managed to finish nicely third behind winner Antonia Niedermaier and Annemiek van Vleuten. "It was a crazy ride. Already after ten kilometres we started the first big climb. The descents were tricky. Once I got away well. After two lesser days, this third place gives a confidence boost," Fisher-Black said.

Linked race Giro Donne 2023 - Linked cyclists Niamh Fisher-Black - Gekoppelde ploegleiders: Anna van der Breggen Lars Boom

Already after ten kilometres, the first tough climb in the fifth stage of the Giro Donne with the Passo Del Lupo (9.8 km at 8.6%) was on the programme. Giro leader Annemiek van Vleuten and Gaia Realini separated themselves from the rest of the peloton. Niamh Fisher-Black was a bit behind them. "I did not have the best confidence after my lesser form in the last two days. So I decided to ride my own pace and not blow myself up trying to follow Van Vleuten and Realini. I kept passing riders. At the top, I saw the two leaders riding. I was riding about 20 seconds behind the leading duo. On the descent, I tried to close the gap, but I made a mistake and hit the road barrier. That was a close call. Fortunately, I landed on the right side of the barrier and was able to continue quickly. After which Elisa Longo-Borghini passed me and I was able to follow her on the descent. At the end of that descent, we joined Annemiek van Vleuten and Gaia Realini."

Just before the ascent of the Vietti, a big group closed in. "There were quite a few classification riders in that. Everyone started looking at each other. I didn't think it was my responsibility to keep things going as I was a bit further up the classification. Antonia Niedermaier picked the right moment for an attack. I then tried to cross to her. On the descent, I was a bit nervous because of that manoeuvre earlier in the day. As a result, I lost ground. On the final climb, the Sant'Ignazio, (4.1km at 8.2%) Elisa Longo Borghini and Annemiek van Vleuten accelerated in an attempt to catch up with Antonia Niedermaier. Even then I had to follow my own pace. I was happy that I could eventually catch up and finish the stage third. I felt better than the past two days," Niamh Fisher-Black recounted her stage.

Fisher-Black: "I haven't had the best days, which puts me tenth in the general classification at over five minutes. Over the next few days, I want to take every opportunity to win back time and hopefully win a stage. Hilly terrain awaits us the next two days. That suits me. I take confidence from this podium finish. Hopefully I can follow up this performance."

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