Friday, July 1, 2022
Giro d’Italia Donne kicked off Thursday with a 4.7km individual time trial. The short, flat course suited Team BikeExchange-Jayco riders Kristen Faulkner and Georgia Baker who finished first and second on the opening stage.
After securing the win on stage one by 4 seconds Faulkner led the general classification and the points race. She would wear the first maglia rosa of the 10-stage Giro d’Italia Donne.
“I’m thrilled, I never thought I’d be wearing the pink jersey at this race, so it’s a huge surprise, but it’s a great surprise and it’s definitely something that was one of my dreams, I just didn’t think it would come this soon,” said Faulkner. “I did not come in thinking about holding onto the pink jersey, I have strong teammates who can climb and sprint, so I came into the Giro hoping to support them in this race. I don’t know what the strategy will be now, but I know that we have a deep squad and a lot of cards to play, so hopefully we can play numbers and being in pink only makes our options stronger.”
With Baker finishing second on the first stage, she wore the purple points jersey at the start of stage two. The 106.4km stage consisted of rolling terrain from Villasimius to Tortolì. After a breakaway attempt, the peloton came back together with 9.7km to go. A large group went into the final straight with Baker crossing the line just behind the leaders in seventh. Faulkner finished in the peloton, not loosing much time in the general classification. Faulkner and Baker now sit second and third in the GC, just seconds back of the leader.
Liv Racing Xstra had a good showing on stage two as well, with Rachele Barbieri finishing sixth and Marta Jaskulska taking the lead in the youth classification.