Vos had to find her way through a messy sprint to the line, but emerged from behind Kopecky and clearly looked the fastest as she won the sprint by several lengths. It wasn’t the first time Vos has won in Terracina, she also took victory in the city enroute to her overall Giro Rosa win in 2012.
"Yes, I have to say that I already have good memories here and it was not an easy stage with the climb," said Vos. "We tried to make it hard for the other teams, so the team did a hard pace on the climb and split the field.
"It worked out a little but it wasn't easy to get there to the front. But they did a great job and put me in a good position."
The category 2 climb of Madonna della Civita and the category 3 Monte San Biagio were the major obstacles of the stage with the sprinters having to negotiate the difficulties of the ascents if they wanted the chance to sprint for the win back in Terracina.
The breakaway attempts started almost straight away, the first to establish itself was a two-woman group with Marketa Hajkova (BePink) and Malgorzata Jasinska (Cronos Casa Dorado), who stretched out the gap beyond 40 seconds.
The peloton caught them back in on the 15-kilometre-long of Madonna della Civita that came midway through the stage. With CCC Liv driving the pace, the race split into two groups on the climb, with a significant gap of 45 seconds forming between the two bunches. Mountain classification leader Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) scooped up the points at the top of the climb, extending her lead in the jersey that would extend to 12 points over Longo Borghini by the stage end.
The high pace kept by CCC-Liv on the front of the main group saw the gap continuing to increase back to the dropped riders, with Kirsten Wild, Maria Confalonieri (both Ceratizit-WNT) and Leah Kirchmann (Sunweb), the most significant sprinters dropped.
An attack on an uphill section, just over 22 kilometres from the finish by Elisa Longo Borghini (Trek-Segafredo), which initially formed a strong group of five riders over the top of the climb, including second overall on the general classification Kasia Niewiadoma (Canyon-SRAM). However, Longo Borghini continued to push hard on the descent and found herself riding solo as van Vleuten bridged up to the chase group behind along with Australian teammate Amanda Spratt.
Spratt began swapping turns with Soraya Paladin (CCC-Liv) on the front of the group to reduce Longo Borghini's lead, which reached a maximum of 22 seconds.
Longo Borghini managed to hold her gap at around that 20-second mark despite the chasing efforts of Equipe Paule Ka and Canyon-SRAM, but within the final kilometres CCC-Liv and Sunweb took up the pace, managing to drag the Italian star back into the fold with just over three kilometres left.
Team Sunweb were the first to launch the sprint with Alison Jackson looking to set things up for Coryn Rivera. Lotte Kopecky jumped away powerfully off the wheel of Jackson. In the end, it was Vos who was too powerful in the dash for the line, rounding Kopecky and winning comfortably.
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