Giro Rosa: Mara Abbott secures overall victory as Ellen van Dijk takes final time trial
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Sunday, July 7, 2013

Giro Rosa: Mara Abbott secures overall victory as Ellen van Dijk takes final time trial

by Ben Atkins at 3:28 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro d'Italia, Race Reports and Results
American sheds some of her lead but not enough to deny a second Giro title

mara abbottMara Abbott (United States) was officially crowned the champion of the 2013 Giro d’Italia Femminile, taking her second victory in the sole women’s Grand Tour, as she did enough to hold her overall lead in the general classification in the final stage eight time trial in the city of Cremona. The American climber lost 55 seconds to nearest rival, Italian time trial champion Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana), but had enough time in hand on the former World champion to win the race by a minute and 33 seconds.

The stage was won by Netherlands time trial champion Ellen van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon), who completed the flat 16.7km course in a time of 21 minutes and 12 seconds, to hold off the challenge of American teammate Evie Stevens by 34 seconds, and Australian time trial champion Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS) by 52.

“I was the favourite for this stage, but the end of a stage race is always unpredictable,” said van Dijk. “I’m so happy that I achieved my goal.”

Alessia Martini (Vaiano-Fondriest) was the first rider to start the time trial, and the 21-year-old did her Maglia Nera status no harm with a time of 26 minutes, 39 seconds. The first seriously fast time was posted by Specialized-lululemon’s Tayler Wiles - the 30th rider to start - as the American finished in 22’22”, with the powerful American team set to dominate the stage.

Loes Gunnewijk (Orica-AIS)was to come within two seconds of Wiles’ time, but the American rider was to be in the hot seat for more than an hour, until French time trial champion Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) went 12 seconds quicker with 22’09”.

The 21-year-old mountianbike and cyclocross specialist was only in the lead for a few minutes, however, as van Dijk posted what was to be the winning time shortly afterwards.

New Zealand champion Linda Villumsen (Wiggle Honda) then came within five seconds of Ferrand Prevot to go into provisional third place, but was still 1’02” behind van Dijk. Stevens and Gillow both finished a few minutes later, however, to push both Ferrand Prevot and Villumsen off the podium.

With the stage apparently decided the only question remained was whether or not Abbott’s rivals could unseat the American from her place at the top of the general classification. Häusler’s time of 22’51”, was 1’39” behind van Dijk, and suggested that the 2009 Giro champion was not going to add a second Corsa Rosa title.

Guderzo then finished in 22’30”, which was still 1’18” off van Dijk’s time and, with Abbott finishing shortly afterwards, with 23’25”, she conceded just 55 seconds to Guderzo and 34 to Häusler, and confirmed her overall victory.

“I can finally say I managed to do it!” Abbott exclaimed. “Thanks go to my team, the public and all those who believed in me.

“Now, I’ll have an ice-cream, pack my stuff and fly back home, where I’ll celebrate with my family and friends,” she added. “I’ll be back to the Giro to try to be the best once again and to feel the warmth of the Italian fans.”

Abbott’s two victories in the race’s mountain stages also secured the American rider the green mountains jersey, while her three stages netted World champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank-Liv/Giant) the ciclamino points jersey. Second place overall for Guderzo was enough to earn her the blue jersey for best Italian, while a disappointing time trial for Francesca Cauz (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo) was not enough to deny her the white jersey for best young rider.

Result stage 8
1. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Specialized-lululemon, 16.7km in 21’12”
2. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 34s
3. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS @ 52s
4. Pauline Ferrand Prevot (Fra) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 57s
5. Linda Villumsen (NZl) Wiggle Honda Pro Cycling @ 1’02”
6. Tayler Wiles (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 1’09”
7. Loes Gunnewijk (Aus) Orica-AIS @ 1’11”
8. Anna van der Breggen (Ned) Netherlands National Team @ 1’13”
9. Alexandra Burchenkova (Rus) RusVelo @ 1’15”
10. Carmen Small (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 1’17”

Final overall standings
1. Mara Abbott (USA) United States National Team
2. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) MCipollini-Giordana @ 1’33”
3. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Team Tibco-To The Top @ 2’18”
4. Shara Gillow (Aus) Orica-AIS @ 3’29”
5. Evelyn Stevens (USA) Specialized-lululemon @ 3’39”
6. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv/Giant @ 4’08”
7. Francesca Cauz (Ita) Top Girls Fassa Bortolo @ 4’25”
8. Ashleigh Moolman (RSA) Lotto-Belisol @ 5’23”
9. Egvenia Vysotska (Ukr) Michela Fanini-Rox @ 6’48”
10. Alena Amialiusik (Blr) Be Pink @ 7’25”


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