Novolodskaya looked like the winner with four kilometres remaining as she held a 29-second lead and was looking strong as she flew into the finish. Unfortunately the 21-year-old crashed on a corner, losing her front wheel and crashing hard. The peloton caught Novolodskaya as she remounted and the sprint trains drove the race hard into the flat finish.
With the final dash to the line launched, there were the likely suspects from the previous sprint stage present, but while it was a closer affair this time round, it was again Vos in the jersey of the points classification leader who took out the win.
“I have to say it’s not an easy day,” said Vos. “It’s hard work. The team did again really well, but I think the teams were expecting it and did tried their tactics.
“There were a lot of attacks and a very tactical and difficult final with some very good leadout trains. I got in a very good position and I’m happy with the win, it’s amazing.”
The course had to be changed due to a bridge collapse, slightly lengthening the distance and adding a bit of climbing to the stage.
Several attacked early to try and form the early break, including Teniel Campbell (Valcar-Travel & Service) and Ceratizit-WNT’s Lisa Brennauer and Kirsten Wild. None of them were let go by the peloton with the peloton kept together well into the stage.
Cecilie Uttrup Ludwig (FDJ Nouvelle-Aquitaine Futuroscope) won the mountain sprint after 30km. Vos was first over the intermediate sprint, putting more points under her belt for the cyclamen points jersey, meaning the leaders in each classification consolidated their advantage.
On the rolling hills in the second half of the stage, CCC-Liv repeated their tactic of the previous stage, driving the pace on the climbs and dropping many of the sprinters.
Again, the hard pace led to three groups forming, and although the second peloton came back before the finish, some 50 riders were out of contention for the stage win. On the last ascent Pauliena Rooijakkers (CCC-Liv) attacked, going off the front of the race with Nadine Gill (Bizkaia Durango).
The two riders were reeled in again on the descent towards Nola, and with just over 12 kilometres to go, Novolodskaya made her own bid for glory, launching clear of a peloton that was just rolling along at that stage.
She pushed out her gap to half a minute and would have certainly come close to the win, but ultimately crashed on a corner with some loose debris and the sprinters fought it out for the stage win, with Vos again taking the victory.
SBS is broadcasting daily highlights of the Giro Rosa, 4.00pm daily.