Giro Rosa: Van Vleuten wins stage five to give defending champion overall lead

Annemiek van Vleuten en route to winning stage five of the 2019 Giro Rosa
Annemiek van Vleuten won the time trial World Championships in 2017 and 2018

Defending champion Annemiek van Vleuten won stage five of the Giro Rosa to take the overall lead in the Italian race.

The Dutch Mitchelton-Scott rider attacked going into the final climb on the 88.5km queen stage to pass breakaway rider Leah Kirchmann.

The 36-year-old then raced clear to win by almost three minutes and take the pink jersey from Katarzyna Niewiadoma.

The Pole finished third, just behind Lucinda Brand, and now trails Van Vleuten by two minutes and 16 seconds.

Niewiadoma had been the leader from stage one to Tuesday's stage, which had to be re-routed to finish in Lago di Cancano due to a landslide on the Passo Gavia.

"I know the roads here very well," said Van Vleuten. "I knew I had to attack from the bottom to gain as much time as possible, but it was 10km of epic suffering.

"The Giro is a very big goal for me this year. It was a bit of a waiting game until now and I'm very happy that I could finally use my legs and attack."

Having won the last two time trial World Championships, Van Vleuten is expected to extend her lead during stage six of the 10-day race, a 12.1km time trail between Chiuro and Teglio.

Stage five result

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned/Mitchelton-Scott) 3hrs 9mins 47secs

2. Lucinda Brand (Ned/Sunweb) +2mins 57 secs

3. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol/Canyon-SRAM) Same time

4. Soraya Paladin (Ita/Ale Cipollini)

5. Amanda Spratt (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott)

6. Anna van der Breggen (Ned/Boels-Dolmans)

7. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SA/CCC-Liv)

8. Erica Magnaldi (Ita/WNT-Rotor)

9. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita/Trek-Segafredo)

10. Demi Vollering (Ned/Parkhotel Valkenburg) +3mins 25secs

General classification after stage five

1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned/Mitchelton-Scott) 11hrs 17mins 44secs

2. Katarzyna Niewiadoma (Pol/Canyon-SRAM) +2mins 16secs

3. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio (SA/CCC Liv) +3mins 5secs

4. Amanda Spratt (Aus/Mitchelton-Scott) +3mins 12secs

5. Anna van der Breggen (Ned/Boels-Dolmans) +3mins 24secs

6. Lucinda Brand (Ned/Sunweb) +3mins 27secs

7. Elisa Longo Borghini (Ita/Trek-Segafredo) +3mins 57secs

8. Katharine Hall (USA/Boels-Dolmans) +4mins 4secs

9. Erica Magnaldi (Ita/WNT-Rotor) +4mins 10secs

10. Juliette Labous (Fra/Sunweb) +4mins 26secs

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