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European U23 Champs Photo Gallery: Women's Road Race
By Staff
Date: 7/17/2008
European U23 Champs Photo Gallery: Women's Road Race

Images and clips from the U23 Women's Road Race at Verbania, Italy. Saturday July 05th 2008.

* Race Report and Results here
* Photo Essay and Clips from the U23 Men's RR here

The magnificent lakeside resort town Verbania in Piedmont (northern Italy) ...
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... and its residents (okay, also the human ones) ...
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... welcomed the Road Race events of the European Junior & U23 Champs.
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The opening race was reserved for the Under 23 girls, like Lieselot Decroix.
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Here showing up at the sign-on area alongside her
teammates from the Belgian team, Ine Beyenand Kelly Druyts.
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The all Belgian trio on the way to the start line.
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The "stars" of the pre-race "show" were definitely the Squadra Azzurra,
the Italian National Team, that featured the reigning World Champion ...
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But we have to confess that we were rooting also for the Turkish girls.
Three from their four-strong squad, featuring Esra Kurcu, Saniye Sezer,
Merve Tayfun & Semra Yetis, were smiling at the camera before the start.
Just don't ask which one was Esra, which was Saniye, or Semra, or Merve ...
... we would never be able to tell :) .
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A curious image from the Turkey zone: a girl fixes her bike with a little
help from a mechanic. It was just too bad that two members of the Turkish
racing quartet pulled out of the Champs ... after half a lap, another followed
one lap later and even Semra Yetis, despite her heroic resistance, turned
a DNFer after being lapped late in the contest.
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Polish team pose for photos at the sign-on area. The #91 girl is Magdalena Pyrgies.
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More members of the Polska troop wait near the startline.
The one with number 86 is known under the name of Anna Bazan.
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The quartet from Ukraine ready for the battle. One of them, Lesya Kalitovska,
was going to have a silver medal hanging from her neck a few hours later.
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The girls in orange were apparently having fun.
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Here's a little tribute to their nice "team bus".
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This French rider looked much more serious and focused on the event.
The fact the start time was very close to must not be stranger to her attitude.
The Russian girl on the right (#99) is Oksana Kozonchuk.
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Here they are: some competitors at the partenza.

More from the race kick-off.

The race was over six laps of a circuit of about 21 kilometres.
Here's a backside view of the compact peloton in action during lap three.
Or was it two? Maybe four? Oh well, in any case, here's the peloton! :)
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The same wild bunch of damsels two laps later and on a slight uphill "slope".
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Lesya Kalitovska finished ahead of Bastianelli to claim second place.
Orange-clad Regina Bruins snatched fifth, just like in the ITT two days before.

Julie Krasniak of France, on the left in this picture, sprinted to a sixth-place finish.

Belgium's Lieselot Lecroix (center), Spain's Anna Sanchis (R)
and Ukraine's Svitlana Galyuk (L) made the Top Ten spots complete.

But the undisputed winner was Rasa Leleivyte,
a young (will turn 20 in about a week) and fast blonde from Lithuania.
She was lifted in celebration by her team managers and coaches.
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Rasa is the current leader of the Miss Sorriso ("Miss Smile") online pageant.
Can voters be blamed for picking her? We do NOT think so.
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Sure the Lithuanian had very good reasons, like winning the European title,
to show her smile. Besides her is silver medallist Kalitvoska.
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Leleivyte can finally "get in touch" with the gold medal and rise her arm on
the podium while Bastianelli (enviously?) stares at her from the lowest step.
C'mon Marta, you did have a good race too! Plus,
that rainbow thingy is still firmly on your shoulders, isn't it?

Flowers for the Top 3 finishers!
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Besides all the pictures above, we also post two clips at our brand new Video Channel. Just double-click on the small sized clips below to get access to the videos.

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