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Giro finale
Photo ©: Bettini

Photo: © Rob Karman

The Anna Millward Diary

Australian Anna Millward (Wilson until her marriage in 2000) is one of the best women's cyclists in the world, and was ranked number 1 for the first part of 2000. She has won races everywhere, from time trials in France, World Cup races in Switzerland to stage races in the USA, and was the first cyclist ever to break the Hour Record under the "new" UCI rules. Anna possesses an incredible sprint and this combined with her power and determination makes her a formidable cyclist on any terrain. She is also one of the friendliest and most optimistic people you could ever meet.

Anna's Giro d'Italia Femminile diary

Stage 2 - July 7: Peccioli-Peccioli, 112 km

Today was another fairly nasty day with a total of 10 small climbs in 112kms. However, the climbers were reasonably restrained for most of the day allowing a bunch of around 40 riders to survive until the finishing climb.

Jolanta Polikevicuite (Acca Due O) began the day in the pink leader's jersey, 12 seconds in front of her teammate, Diana Ziluite. Although many small groups formed over the tops of the climbs and on the flats in between, there was no serious threat to her jersey until late in the race. Liz Tadich (Australia) was part of a breakaway group with around 20 kms to go and a dangerous group of four, including Zinaida Stahurskaia (Chorio), Rasa Polikevicuite (Acca Due O), Olga Slioussareva (Itera) and Svetlana Boubnekova (Kookai), bridged to her group. This put the Acca Due O team on alert and they began chasing, and it wasn't until the top of the second last climb that they reeled the breakaway riders back in. At this point I got cramps in my left leg and had to surrender for the day and ride slowly to the finish.

In the front bunch, Zinaida Stahurskaia (Chorio) attacked again, about 1 km from the start of the final climb to the finish and Jolanta Polikevicuite (Acca Due O) marked her move. The two of them were away almost all the way to the finish. Jolanta was dropped before the finish line and with the bunch behind sprinting to the line, Zinaida only just held on to win, with no time gap to Diana Ziluite (Acca Due O) in second place. Olga Slioussareva (Itera) finished in third place. Jolanta Polikevicuite lost 4 seconds but retained the leader's jersey by two seconds from Zinaida Stahurskaia.

The Aussies Hayley Rutherford and Sara Carrigan finished in 11th and 13th places respectively and Hayley now leads the young rider classification.

Tomorrow looks like a much more enjoyable day, 105km and only two short climbs.

Photo: © Rob Karman