12th Giro d'Italia Femminile - 2.9.1

Italy, July 1-15, 2001

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Stage 6 - July 7: Lecce - Selvia di Fasano, 117 km

Daniela Veronesi wins at Selva di Fasano

After a week of racing at the Giro d'Italia Femminile has created more excitement wit hthe uphill finish at Selva di Fasano near Bari in the south. Daniela Veronesi of San Marino, who rides for the Alfa Lum team won the stage while Zinaida Stahurskaia (fourth, 1:34 behind the winner) reinforced her race lead by taking a few seconds from all her main rivals. Big loser of the day was Fabiana Luperini who finished 14th, losing 37 seconds on what used to be her favourite terrain.

At least for now, the blonde race leader seems unbeatable and manages to make her rivals struggle. "This stage had to give me some answers about how and I feel and it did," she said. "I feel great while the others seem to be suffering. Nicole Bandli seems to be the most dangerous now."

The stage was one of the most action packed of the race so far. Attacks started from the first kilometre and after 21km a break of ten riders went clear:Veronesi, Urbonaite, Rocca, Bonanomi, Schleicher, Wright, Stensvold, Valen, Algelid, Hellmuth. They opened a good gap, reaching a maximum of 5:50 at 20km to go.

On the first time up the climb, the ten riders split up with Roberta Bonanomi, Zita Urbonaite and Daniela Veronesi going clear. Bonanomi won the KOM with the pink jersey group at 1:55. On the second time up the climb, Bonanomi tried to go clear alone but Veronesi chased and dropped her to win her race of the season. Bonanomi and Urbonaite finished second and third at 55 and 57 seconds.

"I'm really happy to have won because I've had some tough times recently," Veronesi said. "Now I hope I've put the bad times behind me and things will keep getting better in the Giro. I want to thank my team mates, they were really helpful. I wisely didn't respond to Bonanomi's attack, preferring to go at my own pace. It paid off."

Tomorrow's stage sees the Giro in San Giovanni Rotondo for the last stage in the southern Puglia region. The town where the monk Padre Pio spent the last years of his life will host the start and finish of the stage. Over 135km, it is a difficult last stage before the rest day and transfer north. There are three difficult climbs - including the climb to the finish, which will test the riders yet again and perhaps change the overall standings.

Report courtesy of www.girodonne.com


1 Daniela Veronesi (RSM) Alfa Lum Aurora         3.11.38 (36.632 km/h)
2 Roberta Bonanomi (Ita) Gas Sport Team             0.55
3 Zita Urbonaite (Ltu) Acca Due O                   0.57
4 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) Gas Sport Team          1.34
5 Nicole Brandli (Swi) Edilsavino Anusca            1.41
6 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Accadueo Lorena               1.42
7 Alessandra Cappellotto (Ita) Gas Sport Team       1.45
8 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Alfa Lum Aurora
9 Rosalisa Lapomarda (Ita) Rosa dei Venti
10 Severine Desbouys (Fra) Gas Sport Team           2.11

General classification after stage 6

1 Zinaida Stahurskaia (Blr) Gas Sport Team      19.40.51 (37.549 km/h)
2 Nicole Brandli (Swi) Edilsavino Anusca            0.17
3 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Acca Due O Lorena             0.18
4 Alessandra Cappellotto (Ita) Gas Sport Team       0.36
5 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Alfa Lum Aurora           0.37
6 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Edilsavino Anusca          0.47
7 Rosalisa Lapomarda (Ita) Rosa dei Venti           0.55
8 Joane Somarriba (Spa) Alfa Lum Aurora             1.22
9 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Vlaanderen T.Interim      1.44
10 Severine Desbouys (Fra) Gas Sport Team           1.52