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Photo ©: Sirotti

 UCI codes explained

GP Costa Etrusca-Giro dei comuni Castellina M.MA-Santa Luce - 1.2

Italy, March 22, 2009

2008 Results    Past winners

Villumsen takes first win in 2009

Columbia-Highroad's Linda Villumsen used her climbing skills to outpower Lithuanian Modesta Vzesniauskaite in the hilly GP Costa Etrusca on Sunday for her first victory of 2009.

Villumsen had to work hard to get herself back in contention. "Vzesniauskaite got away alone, then I bridged across in the last part of the race," she said. "I'd felt pretty good over the last couple of days of racing, so I was feeling confident, which helped. Plus the weather was a lot better.

"We went up the last five kilometre climb together and I led all the way to the line. It wasn't super-steep. I knew the climb from my training rides with Chantal [Beltman, Columbia-Highroad team-mate] so I knew what to expect, which was an advantage."

Once the pair was headed to the finish, Villumsen was cautiously optimistic she could take the win. "Vzesniauskaute just followed my wheel and seemed pretty tired, but you never know because sprinting is not my thing.

"As it was, I just kept going, led in from the front, and crossed the line in first place. I'm really pleased because this is my first win of 2009 and my first since taking the Danish road national championships title last year."

Villumsen dedicated the win to her Columbia-Highroad team-mates, saying "they're the people that give me the motivation to win."

Her sports director, Ronny Lauke, was pleased for Villumsen "She's always sacrificing her own interests for those of the team, and she fully deserved take this win.

"In the last two days of racing Linda was consistently in the action so it's great that finally she got the chance to celebrate a win for herself. It was a really tough race, too, with a lot of climbing and attacking. She really had to work hard for this one."

Results - 109 km

1 Linda Villumsen (Den) Columbia-Highroad
2 Modesta Vzesniauskaite (Lit) Bigla
3 Emma Johansson (Swe) Red Sun
4 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Bigla Cycling Team          
5 Nicole Brandli (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team         
6 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Cervelo Test Team       
7 Grace Verbeke (Bel) Lotto Belisol               
8 Marianne Vos (Ned) Netherlands National Team    
9 Nicole Cooke (GBr) Vision 1 Racing              
10 Andrea Bossman (Ned) Netherlands National Team 

Past winners

2008 Noemi Cantele (Ita) Bigla Cycling Team 
2007 Martina Corazza (Ita)