Kirsten Wild (Argos-Shimano) sprinted to victory in the opening stage of the Giro Rosa but it was world champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank) who was rewarded with the race lead.
When I came to Italy I didn’t know how my shape would be after my injury and to win this stage ahead of Vos feels like a relief.
Wild was first across the line in the 124.3km stage from Giovinazzo to Margherita de Savioa, edging out Vos and Marta Tagliaferro (Mcipollini-Giordana) for the victory.
Vos however claims the overall lead after picking up six bonus seconds from the stage's two intermediate sprint. She leass Wild by two seconds.
"It is a great feeling to win the first stage of the Giro," said Wild who broke her shoulder in April, only returning to racing earlier in June.
"It is a big race and confirms that I am back to my old level. Before the start we made a good plan and all the girls worked for me throughout the day. It was very close but luckily I could finish the job."
“When I came to Italy I didn’t know how my shape would be after my injury and to win this stage ahead of Vos feels like a relief. This was my first goal after the crash and so it’s good to get it under my belt.
There was little to shake the peloton in the first stage on the eight-day tour, with the race all together with 30km to go. The sprinter's teams took control as the finish line approached with a number of crashes in the final 10km.
Orica-AIS riders Loes Gunnewijk and Sungeun Gu were both involved in a crash, with Gu's injuries forcing her to withdraw from the race.
I'm ok. Just shock in my head..but I can't keep on giro..so too sad and very sorry for my team..— Sungeun Gu (@eun1709) June 30, 2013
Lauren Kitchen (Wiggle Honda) was the best of the Australians finishing ninth.
Stage 2 is a 99.6km race starting and finishing in Pontecagnano Faiano.
“Tomorrow will be a bit tougher so we will see how that goes and after that there’s one more flat stage were I can sprint again," said Wild.
Stage 1: 117.8km, Giovinazzo - Margherita Di Savoia
1 Kirsten Wild (NED) Netherlands National Team
2 Marianne Vos (NED) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
3 Marta Tagliaferro (ITA) Mcipollini-Giordana
4 Edita Janeliunaite (LTU) Pasta Zara-Cogeas
5 Oxana Kozonchuk (RUS) Rusvelo
6 Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
7 Shelley Olds (USA) Team Tibco-To The top
8 Lauren Hall (USA) United States National Team
9 Lauren Kitchen (AUS) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling
10 Anna Trevisi (ITA) Vaiano Fondriest
1 Marianne Vos (NED) Rabobank-Liv/Giant
2 Kirsten Wild (NED) Netherlands National Team 00:00:02
3 Marta Tagliaferro (ITA) Mcipollini-Giordana 00:00:08
4 Adrie Visser (NED) Boels-Dolmans 00:00:10
5 Julie Leth (DEN) Hitec Products
6 Cecile Gotaas Johnsen (NOR) Hitec Products 00:00:11
7 Aizhan Zhaparova (RUS) RusVelo
8 Edita Janeliunaite (LTU) Pasta Zara-Cogeas 00:00:12
9 Oxana Kozonchuk (RUS) Rusvelo
10 Annemiek van Vleuten (NED) Rabobank-Liv/Giant