Trek-Segafredo came into the opening team time trial with the goal of putting team leader Elisa Longo Borghini in a strong position on the general classification and came away with the perfect start, winning the opening team time trial in the 32nd running of the Giro Rosa.
That motivation, and the prize of the first pink jersey of the race being on the line pushed the team to the stage win, with Ruth Winder jumping into the race lead.
“We didn’t know the times as we crossed the line, so it wasn’t the plan for me to cross the line first and take the pink jersey,” Winder said.
“We were all just going full-gas to the line, and it just happened that around the last round-about, I was second behind Ellen (van Dijk), and we were just sprinting full for the line.”
Ruth Winder of Trek-Segafredo is in the race lead of the 2021 Giro Rosa after the opening stage. Source: Giro d'Italia Donne
The last team on the road, SD-Worx, came closest to challenging their time of 33 minutes and 40 seconds, finishing just eight seconds slower over the 26.7-kilometre flat course. Alé BTC Ljubljana were third on the stage, 40 seconds behind the pace-setters.
“We tried very hard today because we have such a strong leader with Elisa who is super strong and super Italian, very proud, and this race means a lot to her,” said Winder, race leader by virtue of being first across the finish line.
“Because we all have so much respect for her, it means so much for all of us as well. To do a really strong TTT to set Elisa up for the entire week was really important today, so lots of motivation for me and the whole team.”
The challenge immediately ramps up for the general classification riders, with the summit finish to Colle del Prel, 13.1 kilometres at 7.2 per cent, looming at the end of Stage 2.
“It’s a very special jersey, and I hope it gives the whole team magic. I am very excited to wear it and now see what we can do the whole week, especially with Elisa,” said Winder.
Defending champion Anna van der Breggen (Team SD Worx) is just eight seconds down, along with her SD-Worx squad, and will head into the mountains as the favourite to take the overall race win.
Australian squad Team BikeExchange were well behind the frontrunners, finishing tenth on the day, a minute and thirty seconds behind after an early mechanical problem for reigning Australian road race champion Sarah Roy saw them lose significant time.
They'll be heading to more favoured terrain tomorrow with general classification hope Amanda Spratt looking to shine on the climbs.
Watch the highlights from the Giro d'Italia Donne from 3.30pm on SBS (times vary, so check guides), SBS On Demand and via the Cycling Central website.