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Results and Reports for June 9-10, 2001
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June 9, 2001
Over the weekend, the A.I.S. Women's Road Cycling Team travelled south to Paolisi, near Napoli for 2 one day races on the Italian National Calendar.
All the Italian professional trade teams were strongly represented, including GAS Sport team with world champion Zinaida Stahurskaia, Allessandra Cappellotto and Italian champion Gabriella Pregnalato. Team ALFA LUM with 1999 World Champion and 1998 Tour de France winner, Edita Pucinskaite. Acca Due O - HP - Lorena Camicie with 1998 World Champion and 1999 Tour de France winner, Diana Ziliute, making up a strong, if small field.
Conditions for both days were a little warmer than the usual northern spring of Italy at this time of the year, but a very enthusiastic organisation, and more than 20,000 spectators lining the course each day through the various villages presented a popular promotion.
There was also a prize for the best team over the weekend, and with only 4 Australians in attendance, and most of the Italian teams of 8 to 10 riders, the Aussies were content with getting at least one rider close to the podium each day.
On Saturday the course went into the hills north of Paolisi, with the group staying together awaiting the 10km climb to sort out the contenders for the honours.
Small groups formed across the top, with a further 6km of steady climbing after the mountain sprint, before a long descent heading into the last 15km.
Ziliute, Stahurskaia, Pucinskaite, Cappellotto, Roberta Bonanomi and Severine Desbouys (GAS Sport) and Iryna Chzhjnova (Edil Savino) formed the front group with a 1 min. gap back the next group of 10 chasers including Alison Wright and Sara Carrigan (A.I.S. Australia).
Unfortunately for Sara on the descent, some misjudgment of the corners in the group, and she found herself losing her line and a valuable 20 secs. out of a hairpin corner.
Later, trying to regain the group she slid-out on a corner to eventually lose more time and finish with the 3rd group.
Meanwhile, GAS Sport had control of the front and trying to break up the lead group, enventuating in a small bunch sprint and Ziliute to cunning and strong on the 500 metres of cobbles streets into the finish. The 2nd group didn't have the strength to pull back any time on the lead, with Alison Wright reading the finish well on the cobbles, and almost catching Bonanomi for 8th place.
1 Diana Ziliute (Lit) Acca Due O - HP Lorena Camicie 2.50.00 (38.11 km/h) 2 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) GAS Sport 3 Iryna Chzhjnova (Ukr) Edil Savino 4 Edita Pucinskaite (Lit) Team Alfa Lum 5 Rosalisa Lapomarda (Ita) Rosa Dei Venti 0.03 6 Severine Desbouys (Fra) GAS Sport team 0.08 7 Allessandra Cappellotto (Ita) GAS Sport team 8 Roberta Bonanomi (Ita) GAS Sport team 3.15 9 Alison Wright (Aus) A.I.S. Australia 3.30 10 Shani Bloch (Isr) Figurella 23 Sara Carrigan (Aus) A.I.S. Australia 5.20 30 Karen Sumpton (Aus) A.I.S. Australia 7.00 (62 starters, 30 finishers)
June 10, 2001
Sunday's course was relatively flat, except for the major climb of 6km coming only 20km from the finish. The initial stages of the race provided some of the most agressive racing of the season so far, and again only a small field, but GAS Sport were intent on making up for the loss yesterday after having the numbers in the lead group, to have to settle for 2nd place.
Constant attacks in the first 30 kms saw a very high average speed, and Acca Due O trying to keep everything together. A group eventually going clear with GAS Sport, Alfa Lum and Acca Due O well represented and no Aussies. The gap was out to 20 secs. when Rochelle Gilmore endeavoured to bridge across before being brough back, and this gave Alison Wright the perfect springboard to try herself. A solid chase for nearly 4km before she joined the lead group, which by this time the gap had increased to 45secs.
GAS Sport had their best team climber and chance for victory up front with Allessandra Cappellotto, with Gabriella Pregnalato and one of her young team-mates increased driving hard on the flat to increase the lead. Unfortunately for GAS their young rider slipped on a corner through one of the village passes and never regained the lead group.
This was a concern for the others in the lead who were relishing the free-ride from GAS, and hoping for the gap to escalate. Pregnalato never relented and as the riders turned onto the climb the lead had extended to 3 min. Other riders in the lead group included Alfa Lum's Daniella Veronesi, Sara Felloni and Grossi, Acca Due O with Zita Urbanaite and one of their younger riders, and Tamarina from Edil Savino.
Cappellotto never looked back from the bottom of the climb, and had a 1 min. 30 sec. lead over the top. In pursuit the group had reduced to Alison Wright (A.I.S. Australia) and Sara Felloni (Team Alfa Lum), and the rest scattered over the 14% climb. The last 500 metres pinch to top was between 18 & 20%, and this is where Wright powered over the top to clear-out on Felloni and have a 15 sec. advantage onto the descent, with still 5 km of descending, and 10km flat-run into the finish.
By the bottom of the descent, Cappellotto was still 1 min. 30 sec. in front of Wright, and only 20 sec. back to Felloni who had been in hot pursuit. On the flat Wright was determined to stay away, and eventually began to put more time into Felloni. Back in the main group the attacks had spread the remainder of the group all over the climb, with 15 riders together catching all of the breakaway group except Cappellotto, Wright and Felloni. This group included Saturday's 1st and 3rd placed riders Ziliute and Chzhynova, as well as Pucinskaite, Stahurskaia, Desbouys and Sara Carrigan.
By the finish Cappellotto was never going to be caught, and remained at 1 min. 25 sec. in front of Wright. Felloni finished 3rd a further 1 min. back, and what was left of the main group a further 25 secs. behind with Ziliute leading the bunch in for 4th, and Carrigan in 8th overall.
1 Allessandra Cappellotto (Ita) GAS Sport team 2.48.00 (38.21km/h) 2 Alison Wright (Aus) A.I.S. Australia 1.25 3 Sara Felloni (Ita) Team Alfa Lum 2.35 4 Diana Ziliute (Lit) Acca Due O - HP Lorena Camicie 3.00 5 Iryna Chzhjnova (Ukr) Edil Savino 6 Gitana Groudite (Lit) Rosa dei Venti 7 Edita Pucinskaite (Lit) Team Alfa Lum 8 Sara Carrigan (Aus) A.I.S. Australia 9 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) GAS Sport team 10 Noemi Cantele (Ita) C.S.I. Ju Sport 20 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus) A.I.S. Australia 5.20 48 Karen Sumpton (Aus) A.I.S. Australia 7.00 (62 starters, 48 finishers)
Results and reports courtesy James Victor, AIS