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19th Women's Giro d'Italia: Prologue, Stage 1 & 2
 
By Fabio
Date: 7/8/2008
19th Women's Giro d'Italia: Prologue, Stage 1 & 2
 

The 19th edition of the Women's Giro d'Italia, set to finish into the Milano area town of Desio come Sunday, July 13, got kickstarted this past Saturday evening/night with an unusual - at least due to the time of the day he was held at ... - ITT prologue of 1,200 metres in downtown Mantua, in the south-eastern corner of Lombardy. The start line was situated at Vittorio Veneto square, the finishing line at Viale Isonzo avenue.

A hundred twenty-two leg-owners from as many as 17 different teams were involved in a tight battle against the clock, started by the Russian Nadezda Vlasova (Team Flexpoint) and eventually won - by the very slimmest of margin: one hundredth of a second - by her Dutch teammate Maria Wilhelmina Johanna "Mirjam" Melchers Van Poppel (Team Flexpoint), with the Italian National ITT Champion Vera Carrara (Team CMax-Dilą) in second place, missing the maglia rosa by a whisker. Even with Marianne Vos not around, the girls in orange managed to steal the show, also thanks to Kirsten Wild (AA-Drink Cycling Team) who filled in the remaining top three spot of the day (better, night). The young Lithuanian Rasa Leleivyte, winner of the European Road Championships some 150-200 miles away from Mantua a few hours earlier, and Marta Bastianelli, bronze medallist in that same race at Verbania, also hit the start line, albeit neither of them were much of a factor Saturday night.

ITT Prologue (Mantua, 1.2 km): Top 10 Places
1. Mirjam Melchers Van Poppel (Hol - Team Flexpoint) - 01'40"
2. Vera Carrara (Ita - Team Cmax Dilą) - at 00"01
3. Kirsten Wild (Hol - Aa-Drink Cycling Team) - at 01"13
4. Noemi Cantele (Ita - Bigla Cycling Team) - at 01"20
5. Nicole Brandli (Swi - Bigla Cycling Team) - at 01"30
6. Loes Markerink (Hol - Team Flexpoint) - at 01"61
7. Monica Holler (Ger - Bigla Cycling Team) - at 01"80
8. Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Ger - Columbia Women) - at 01"96
9. Katherine Bates (Aus - Columbia Women) - at 02"34
10. Judith Arndt (Ger - Columbia Women) - at 02"38



The Giro d'Italia Donne resumed Sunday with the first, pan-flat "road stage" taking the gruppo from Asola, near Mantua, to the Veneto town of Lendinara over 131.5 kilometres. The route made for an average sprinter's stage, and the fastest wheels did deliver, after a late solo move from Italian National RR champion (and winner of countless more events) Fabiana Luperini was chased down. The hot weather conditions, with humidity up to 70 percent, the strong headwinds blowing over the bunch and the way the sprinter's teams kept control of the race (Team Columbia and Kori Kelley Seehafer of the Menikini Selle Italia squad did an outstanding job in this sense) stopped basically any wannabe fugitive from giving it a try.

Ina Teutenberg particularly lived up to her winning task: the mighty fastwoman from the Team Columbia roster dominated the final rush to the line ahead of Saturday's third place getter Kirsten Wild (AA-Drink Cycling Team) and the Italian sensation Giorgia Bronzini, who launched the sprint but had to surrender to the power of the former T-Mobile winning machine. Rochelle Gilmore and Oenone Wood couldn't be a match to the mighty German either, but got into the top six spots of the day. The ten bonus seconds awarded to the stage winner put Teutenberg atop the leaderboard.


Giorgia Bronzini (here in a picture dating back to the Giro 2005) tried hard,
but Ina Teutenberg was just too fast for her.

Stage 1 (Asola to Lendinara, 131.5 km): Top 10 Places
1. Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Ger - Team Columbia) - 03h48'49" (34.481 kph)
2. Kirsten Wild (Hol - Aa-Drink Cycling Team) - s.t.
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita - Titanedi Frezza-Acca Due O) - s.t.
4. Grete Treier (Est - Gs Gauss Rdz Ormu) - s.t.
5. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus - Menikini-Selle Italia-Master Colors) - s.t.
6. Oenone Wood (Aus - Team Columbia Women) - s.t.
7. Monia Baccaille (Ita - Fenixs) - s.t.
8. Agne Bagdanoviciute (Lit - Team System Data) - s.t.
9. Loes Markerink (Hol - Team Flexpoint) - s.t.
10. Rasa Leleivyte (Lit - Michela Fanini-Record Rox) - s.t.

19th Women's Tour of Italy - GC after Stage 1: Top 10 Places
1. Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Ger - Team Columbia) - 03h50'21"
2. Kirsten Wild (Hol - Aa-Drink Cycling Team) - at 03"
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita - Titanedi Frezza-Acca Due O) - at 08"
4. Mirjam Melchers Van Poppel (Hol - Team Flexpoint) - s.t.
5. Vera Carrara (Ita - Team Cmax Dilą) - s.t.
6. Noemi Cantele (Ita - Bigla Cycling Team) - at 10"
7. Nicole Brandli (Swi - Bigla Cycling Team) - s.t.
8. Loes Markerink (Hol - Team Flexpoint) - s.t.
9. Monica Holler (Ger - Bigla Cycling Team) - s.t.
10. Katherine Bates (Aus - Team Columbia Women) - at 11"

Points: 1. Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Ger - Team Columbia Women)

Young Riders: 1. Loes Markerink (Hol - Team Flexpoint)



A new ride on the flatlands of southern Veneto, and a new episode of the Ina Teutenberg Show. Despite a late move from Italy's Alessandra D'Ettorre (Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo-Raxy Line), a previous World Champion title winner in the Junior class, about nine kilometres from the finish, and a few more "lesser" skirmishes, the stage ended in a field sprint (also courtesy of the usual great job done by Team Columbia and the Menikini-Selle Italia-Master Colors girls). And the German put in yet another superb sprint, such that all the others could do was get a privileged view of her arms raised in triumph in the narrow final metres.

Monday's 122.7-kilometre effort from a placed called Cą Tiepolo Porto to the Adriatic seaside port of Rosolina Mare had basically the same stage ranking as the previous leg, with the Team Columbia appointed sprinter nabbing another victory and strengthening her grip on the Maglia Rosa. The girl from Deutschland extended her overall lead on Kirsten Wild, who had to settle for the runner-up status for the second day running, while Giorgia Bronzini, still sitting in spot number three on GC, was denied another "stage bronze medal" by Regina Schleicher (Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung), third place getter in an excellent day for the fast wheels from Germany. Rochelle Gilmore repeated Sunday's fifth place result, Oenone Wood was "downgraded" to ninth-place finisher.

Teutenberg took her season's tally to an impressive 13 victories, and comfortably leads the points classification, with Loes Markerink (Team Flexpoint) holding on to Maglia Bianca (white jersey) of best young rider, and prologue winner Mirjam Melchers Van Poppel maintaining the Maglia Verde (green jersey). Three athletes did not finish the stage: Samantha Perna (Ita - Team System Data) and Sabrina Conca (Ita - Team CMax-Dilą) as well as Melissa Arbelaz Hernįndez (Ven - Fenixs).

Stage 2 (Cą Tiepolo Porto to Rosolina Mare, 122.7 km): Top 10 Places
1. Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Ger - Team Columbia) - 03h08'50" (38.986 kph)
2. Kirsten Wild (Hol - Aa-Drink Cycling Team) - s.t.
3. Regina Schleicher (Ger - Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung) - s.t.
4. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita - Titanedi Frezza-Acca Due O) - s.t.
5. Rochelle Gilmore (Aus - Menikini-Selle Italia-Master Colors) - s.t.
6. Loes Markerink (Hol - Team Flexpoint) - s.t.
7. Martina Corazza (Ita - Gauss Rdz Ormu) - s.t.
8. Monica Holler (Ger - Bigla Cycling Team) - s.t.
9. Oenone Wood (Aus - Team Columbia Women) - s.t.
10. Monia Baccaille (Ita - Fenixs) - s.t.

19th Women's Tour of Italy - GC after Stage 2: Top 10 Places
1. Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Ger - Team Columbia) - 06h59'01"
2. Kirsten Wild (Hol - Aa-Drink Cycling Team) - at 07"
3. Giorgia Bronzini (Ita - Titanedi Frezza-Acca Due O) - at 18"
4. Mirjam Melchers Van Poppel (Hol - Team Flexpoint) - s.t.
5. Vera Carrara (Ita - Team Cmax Dilą) - s.t.
6. Noemi Cantele (Ita - Bigla Cycling Team) - at 20"
7. Nicole Brandli (Swi - Bigla Cycling Team) - s.t.
8. Loes Markerink (Hol - Team Flexpoint) - s.t.
9. Monica Holler (Ger - Bigla Cycling Team) - s.t.
10. Regina Schleicher (Ger - Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung) - s.t.

Points: 1. Ina Yoko Teutenberg (Ger - Team Columbia Women)

Young Riders: 1. Loes Markerink (Hol - Team Flexpoint)


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