Ina Teutenberg stroke again. The unstoppable sprinting machine in Team Columbia Women's blue colors stamped her authority also on Tuesday's stage three of the Women's Giro d'Italia, a flat ride of 122.8 kilometres from the Veneto hamlet of Santa Maria Maddalena Occhiobello to Altedo Malalbergo - some 20 kms north of Bolonia - passing through a bunch of small towns even Yours (all-Italian) Truly had never heard of before. The city of Ferrara, which the peloton hit about 30 kilometres from the finish, was one of the few exceptions to such rule.
There were no exceptions to the "bunch sprint rule" instead, regardless of how two girls tried to break it: Lithuania's Edita Unguryte (USC Chirio Forno d'Asolo), on the move after fifty-seven kilometres but "sanctioned" by the wild bunch through a merciless chase that saw her mercilessly back into the field a couple kilometres later, and Silvia Tirado Márquez of the Spanish NT (both trade and national teams are allowed to race the Giro). The 22-year-old Valencian managed to gain 01'17" - and that's much of a gap in such a race - and stay clear for 32 kilometres, but there was no way she could fight the power of the whole Columbia(n) Army.
After the Spanish damsel's media exposure was over, it was all about part three of the Ina Yoko Teutenberg Show. The Bike Valkyrie stormed to her hat-trick of Giro 2008 wins and increased her advantage in both the overall and points classifications. Best of the rest was Sweden's Monica Holler (Bigla Cycling Team) with Rochelle Gilmore pacing OZ into the stage top three. Giorgia Bronzini (Titanedi-Frezza-Acca Due O team) had the same result (fourth) as twenty-four hours earlier but slipped one place into fourth on GC, to the delight of Holler. Worthy of mention was also the solid sixth-place finish secured by the tiny young Tuscan Alice Marmorini. Mirjam Melchers Van Poppel (Team Flexpoint) maintained her grip on the green jersey, and so did her compatriot / teammate Loes Markerink on the best young rider's white mantle.
Mighty Ina is expected to give way to the best climbers and true overall players in tomorrow's fourth leg, from Calcinaia town - in the Pisa area of Tuscany - to the summit of Monte Serra over 106.4 kilometres, with the first category Prato a Ceragiola also going to give riders some hard time; a stage definitely meant to shake the GC.
Stage 2 (S.M. Maddalena Occhiobello to Altedo, 122.8 km): Top 10 Places
1. TEUTENBERG, Ina Yoko (Ger - TEAM COLUMBIA) - 02h52'51" (42.626 kph)
2. HOLLER, Monica (Swe - BIGLA CYCLING TEAM) - s.t.
3. GILMORE, Rochelle (Aus - MENIKINI-SELLE ITALIA-MASTER COLORS) - s.t.
4. BRONZINI, Giorgia (Ita - TITANEDI-FREZZA-ACCA DUE O) - s.t.
5. WILD, Kirsten (Hol - AA-DRINK CYCLING TEAM) - s.t.
6. MARMORINI, Alice (Ita - FENIXS) - s.t.
7. AZPIROZ, AZPIROZ Arantzazu (Spa - BIZKAIA DURANGO) - s.t.
8. MARKERINK, Loes (Hol - TEAM FLEXPOINT) - s.t.
9. CORAZZA, Martina (Ita - GS GAUSS RDZ ORMU) - s.t.
10. MARTISOVA, Yulia (Rus - GS GAUSS RDZ ORMU) - s.t.
19th Women's Tour of Italy - GC after Stage 2: Top 10 Places
1. TEUTENBERG, Ina Yoko (Ger - TEAM COLUMBIA) - 09h 51'42"
2. WILD, Kirsten (Hol - AA-DRINK CYCLING TEAM) - at 17"
3. HOLLER, Monica (Swe - BIGLA CYCLING TEAM) - at 24"
4. BRONZINI, Giorgia (Ita - TITANEDI-FREZZA-ACCA DUE O) - at 28"
5. MELCHERS, VAN POPPEL Mirjam (Hol - TEAM FLEXPOINT) - s.t.
6. CARRARA, Vera (Ita - TEAM CMAX DILA) - s.t.
7. CANTELE, Noemi (Ita - BIGLA CYCLING TEAM - at 30"
8. BRANDLI, Nicole (Swi - BIGLA CYCLING TEAM) - s.t.
9. MARKERINK, Loes (Hol - TEAM FLEXPOINT) - s.t.
10. SCHLEICHER, Regina (Ger - NURNBERGER VERSICHERUNG) - s.t.
* Complete Stage Results and Overall Standings here (pdf file)
Points - Standings after Stage 3
1. TEUTENBERG, Ina Yoko - (Ger - TEAM COLUMBIA) - 45 p.
2. WILD, Kirsten (Hol - AA-DRINK CYCLING TEAM) - 30 p.
3. BRONZINI, Giorgia (Ita - TITANEDI FREZZA ACCA DUE O) - 26 p.
4. GILMORE, Rochelle (Aus - MENIKINI-SELLE ITALIA-MASTER COLORS) - 22 p.
5. HOLLER, Monica (Swe - BIGLA CYCLING TEAM) - 15 p.
Young Riders - Standings after Stage 3
1. MARKERINK, Loes (Hol - TEAM FLEXPOINT) - 09h52'12"
2. VILLUMSEN, Linda (Den - TEAM COLUMBIA) - at 02"
3. SLAPPENDEL, Iris (Hol - TEAM FLEXPOINT) - s.t.
* 19th Women's Giro d'Italia: Prologue, Stage 1 & 2