Giro di Toscana alludes to pre-Worlds form
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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Giro di Toscana alludes to pre-Worlds form

by Ben Atkins at 8:08 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Giro di Toscana
The Giro di Toscana is the last chance for riders to hone their racing legs before the World Championships, which fall less than a week after the final stage. A rain disrupted first stage - a team time trial – was won by the Bigla team of Italian time trial champion Noemi Cantele, propelling teammate Nicole Brändli into an early lead in the gerneral classification.

More rain the next day saw a rare – and morale boosting – victory for Giorgia Bronzini (Safi Pasta Zara) over Ina Teutenberg (Columbia-HTC), perhaps revealing a crack in the German’s armoury for the young Italian World points race champion to exploit next weekend?

Stage three went to another Italian squadra azzura member in the form of Olympic bronze medallist Tatiana Guderzo (Michela Fanini Record Rox) as she broke away solo and held off a late charge from Marianne Vos (DSB Bank), Mara Abbott and Judith Arndt (both Columbia-HTC), finishing alone on the steep cobbled surface of the mediaeval hilltop town of Volterra. Vos won the shortened (to 2.2km!) nocturnal time trial, but the short distance meant there was little effect on the overall standings.

The leader’s pink jersey was well and truly wrenched from Guderzo’s back as Teutenberg took a breakaway victory on stage five. Guderzo – and most of the peloton – finished more than six minutes later. Lithuanian Diana Ziliute (Safi Pasta Zara) was the best placed in the breakaway and, despite having no answer to Teutenberg, found herself comfortably in the race lead.

The final stage into Firenze (Florence) was won by Vos with a sprint that left her several lengths clear of second placed Bronzini. With the peloton all finishing together there was no change to the general classification and Ziliute took the final victory.

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