Cicloweb is always a good source for up-to-date information and results.
Their brief article says that Pooley attacked with Noemi Cantele on the main climb of the day, the Mendola, dropped Cantele and then soloed in on the descent. The group didn't break up much on the climb, and Alessandra d'Ettorre came second at the finish.
It's an interesting litmus test for her descending for the Giro. It'd be interesting to know what her gap was at the top and what it was at the finish - hopefully we'll find out soon.
That's another glowing full write-up from Cicloweb, who talk up Pooley's Giro chances throughout the piece despite her recent interview saying she would chiefly be a domestique for Claudia Häusler. "This line that Pooley is the luxury domestique for the Giro convinces us little - let's see if the road (and the adversaries) prove us wrong in due course."
That report also answers my question. At the top of the climb Pooley's lead was 4'30" over the group of other favourites. At the bottom of the descent, which Cicloweb describes as "quite technical", her lead over the same group was 3'19". So 1'11" lost over a 15km descent - not good, but not disastrously bad either.
To me it seems the only comparable descents at the Giro will be the Sormano and the Foscagno. The Sormano may be made easier by the fact that where it comes in the day it may not be pushed, and even if it is they're going up the difficult side on which Pooley could conceivably give herself a head start like today. The Foscagno could be more tricky, but then the Stelvio comes right after...
I'd previously thought they were going up the easier side of the Sormano, but I'm certain now they're going up this beastly thing - special category really. Shame it comes so early in the stage.
Considering the course profiles, it's perhaps surprising that the race didn't break up a bit more on the second and third days, but it's not surprising that Cervelo kept Emma in the pink. She's building quite a palmarès.
Sunday's National Road Race Champs in Lancashire should be cracking. I hope that Lizzie, Sharon and Emma race for themselves so that we can see a fair scrap between the Cervelo threesome and Nicole.
Some kind soul - it looks to be the same one behind the Giro Donne videos - has stuck up all of RAI's considerable coverage of this race on a new YouTube page.
From some recent pieces I've read, Lizzie Armitstead seems to think she'll have the support of the other two at the nationals - which would be fair enough. I don't think there's enough difficulty on the circuit to allow Pooley or Laws to drop Cooke.
If we're going to have more exciting nationals, we need either a pancake flat parcours to bring in the chances of Armitstead, Dani King and Nikki Harris, or a proper climber's course where Pooley, Laws and Cooke can have a good old war. Here's to hoping that one of these years....
I'm not so sure about that, Skip. There's 280m of climbing per lap, including a big chunk of 10% on Barley Lane. A lot of those in the know reckon it's the toughest Nationals course in memory. We'll just have to wait and see, but I reckon it'll be a Pooley/Cooke shootout.
There is definitely a total of about 280 m of climbing. I've plotted the route in Memory Map and I can see 260 m of significant lumpy bits in the profile. There is at least 20-30 m of extra draggy stuff on top that. 15 * 280 m = 4,200 m - that's pretty hilly!
Thanks for that graphic Colin. You and Legs are absolutely right on the numbers. Although I think there is a tendency to overestimate the effect of the softer bits - rompepiernas stuff doesn't usually split things up like proper climbs do. I tend to factor out a lot of the more minor stuff in pro races. Remember also that the women race nine laps, not fifteen.
Having three Brits on Cervélo does make it much harder for Cooke than before. Thinking about it, an early break for it by Pooley or Laws could pretty much stuff Cooke unless she'll be getting a hand from the women she's been riding with in Europe.