Cyclist Van der Breggen claims second Italian road tour title

Anna van der Breggen (centre) and Annemiek van Vleuten (in blue) Photo: Tim De Waele/HH

Anna van der Breggen won her second Giro Rosa title, the women’s equivalent of the Giro d’Italia, after holding off a strong challenge from her rivals in Sunday’s final stage.

Italian rival Elisa Longo Borghini and fellow Dutchwoman Annemiek van Vleuten tried to break away on the slopes of mount Vesuvius, but were unable to break down Van der Breggen, who coasted home at the back of a lead group of six riders.

The 27-year-old Olympic champion even led out the sprint to help her Boels-Dolmans Cycling team-mate, Megan Guarnier, win the 10th and final stage.

Van der Breggen, who previously won the race in 2015, said this year’s victory was ‘one of the finest of my career’. ‘Riding in the jersey for nine days costs a lost of energy and stress and puts you under a certain amount of pressure,’ she said. ‘You don’t want to wreck it for your team on the last day.’

Van Vleuten finished in third place overall, 1 minute 39 seconds behind Van der Breggen, and also took home the green jersey for the points competition and the polka dot jersey for the best climber. Borghini took second place, 1 minute 3 seconds behind.

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