Ziliute retires at the top.
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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Ziliute retires at the top.

by Ben Atkins at 8:59 AM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling
 

1998 World champion Diana Ziliute has decided to finally hang up her wheels after a 15-year career at the top of women’s cycling. The 33-year-old Lithuanian was slated to retire after the World championships in Varese last year, but elected to continue for another year.

In her long career Ziliute, who now lives in Montebelluna in the Veneto region of northern Italy, has become something of an icon in the sport, winning virtually everything along the way. She won la Grande Boucle in 1999 – while dressed in the rainbow jersey of World Champion – the overall World Cup competition in 2000 as well as several World Cup races and Lithuanian national titles.

Ironically, 2009 turned out to be one of her best years. In the second half of the season she won the Trophée d’Or and Giro della Toscana stage races, and led the main bunch home to take fifth in the World Championships in Mendrisio, Switzerland. Despite retiring as a rider, she will continue to be involved with the Safi-Pasta Zara-Titanedi team as a training director for the Treviso based squad.

Tributes will be paid to Ziliute, among others, this Sunday when the Madonna del Ghisallo sports group celebrates “pink day”, a festival of women’s cycling held at the iconic hilltop chapel.

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