15th GP Liberazione Donne - 1.9.1

Italy, April 25, 2000

Zocca takes Donne

The UCI cat. 1.9.1 Gran Premio de Liberazione (Italian National Day) Donne took place in Crema, Italy, whilst Men's Under 23 version wa held on the same day in the middle of Rome. Over 100 women, mostly Italian, appreciated the warm conditions. The completely flat circuit had been reduced from 10 km to 4 km, with the women racing over a total of 27 laps for 110km.

No serious attempts were expected to gain too much of an advantage with the constant, high tempo being set by the Italian professional teams, GAS Sport and Acca Due Lorena (Dream Team). Both teams had their star riders here, and as anticipated, the finish came down to a 60 plus rider bunch sprint.

Diana Ziliute, Greta Zocca, Sara Felloni were all there along with the Australian national team who were trying to set up Alison Wright for the victory. GAS Sport and Acce Due Lorena took control with 10 kilometres to go, along with some notable work by the Australian Kristy Scrymgeour. The speed was up over 60 km/hr in the final kilometres making things tough at the front. Australian, Kym Shirley, suffered a minor accident when an Italian rider ran into her back wheel at 3 laps to go bringing her down, without any damage apart from a smashed rear wheel.

Out of the final corner, with 400 metres to go, the usual hectic shuffle of riders all over the road, with everyone pushing forward for a good finish. Local favourite Greta Zocca, GAS Sport Team, realised her team's expectations as one of the favourites with a comfortable win in the sprint finish. Another favourite, Acca Due's former world champion, and last year's Tour de France Feminin winner Diana Ziliute could manage only 5th maybe she was recovering from her Navarra efforts). First Australian home (and also first rider from a non-Italian team) was Alison Wright in 9th place.

In other Australian news, the next race for the Australian team will be a UCI cat. 2 race in Switzerland next Saturday, with the major tours commencing in May and June.

Also, Juanita Feldhahn has secured a start with the Canadian national team in the upcoming Tour de l'Aude, May 4 to 14, which is the first 'major' 12 day women's European tour for the season. Juanita faired well in this tour last year alongside Tracey Gaudry, with Anna Wilson returning with her Saturn team to defend Lyn Bessette's fine win from 1999.

Results - 110.7 km

1 Greta Zocca (Ita) GAS Sport Team 	2.39.33 (41.63 km/hr)
2 N Yukanyuk (Ukr) Luongo RB Brugg
3 Zinaida Stahurskaya (Blr) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox
4 Sara Felloni (Ita) Alfa Lum
5 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie
6 Katia Longhin (Ita) Master Team Carpe Diem
7 Olga Slioussareva (Rus) Acca Due O - Lorena Camicie
8 Luisa Tamanini (Ita) Alfa Lum
9 Alison Wright (Aus) A.I.S. Australia
10 Tania Belvederesi (Ita) Master Team - Carpe Diem
17 Sara Carrigan (Aus) A.I.S. Australia
20 Liz Tadich (Aus) A.I.S. Australia
24 Kristy Scrymgeour (Aus) A.I.S. Australia
29 Juanita Feldhahn (Aus) A.I.S. Australia
DNF Kym Shirley (Aus) A.I.S. Australia (crashed)

Results and report courtesy of James Victor, AIS coach