Already after ten kilometres, the first tough climb in the fifth stage of the Giro Donne with the Passo Del Lupo (9.8 km at 8.6%) was on the programme. Giro leader Annemiek van Vleuten and Gaia Realini separated themselves from the rest of the peloton. Niamh Fisher-Black was a bit behind them. "I did not have the best confidence after my lesser form in the last two days. So I decided to ride my own pace and not blow myself up trying to follow Van Vleuten and Realini. I kept passing riders. At the top, I saw the two leaders riding. I was riding about 20 seconds behind the leading duo. On the descent, I tried to close the gap, but I made a mistake and hit the road barrier. That was a close call. Fortunately, I landed on the right side of the barrier and was able to continue quickly. After which Elisa Longo-Borghini passed me and I was able to follow her on the descent. At the end of that descent, we joined Annemiek van Vleuten and Gaia Realini."
Just before the ascent of the Vietti, a big group closed in. "There were quite a few classification riders in that. Everyone started looking at each other. I didn't think it was my responsibility to keep things going as I was a bit further up the classification. Antonia Niedermaier picked the right moment for an attack. I then tried to cross to her. On the descent, I was a bit nervous because of that manoeuvre earlier in the day. As a result, I lost ground. On the final climb, the Sant'Ignazio, (4.1km at 8.2%) Elisa Longo Borghini and Annemiek van Vleuten accelerated in an attempt to catch up with Antonia Niedermaier. Even then I had to follow my own pace. I was happy that I could eventually catch up and finish the stage third. I felt better than the past two days," Niamh Fisher-Black recounted her stage.
Fisher-Black: "I haven't had the best days, which puts me tenth in the general classification at over five minutes. Over the next few days, I want to take every opportunity to win back time and hopefully win a stage. Hilly terrain awaits us the next two days. That suits me. I take confidence from this podium finish. Hopefully I can follow up this performance."