Giro della Toscana: Noemi Cantele climbs into pink in Volterra
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Thursday, September 16, 2010

Giro della Toscana: Noemi Cantele climbs into pink in Volterra

by Ben Atkins at 3:06 PM EST   comments
Categories: Pro Cycling, Race Reports and Results
Italian takes queen stage and race lead in front of national coach

noemi canteleNoemi Cantele (HTC-Columbia) won the third stage of the Giro della Toscana between Pontadera and the picturesque hilltop town of Volterra. The double World championship medallist won the same the 137km stage that she won on her way to victory overall in the 2007 edition of the race. She outclimbed Russian champion Tatiana Antoshina (Valdarno) on the steep cobbled slopes to the finish line, with Cantele’s HTC-Columbia teammates Evelyn Stevens and Judith Arndt crossing the line in third and fourth places.

"This has to be one of the highlights of my year," said Stevens afterwards. "The whole team did an exceptional job and it's turned into an awesome result.

"Noemi was away in a break, then I caught that group on the final climb of Volterra and we rode up together,” she continued. “She got the win but it was a tremendous day for everybody. You never know if we'll be able to take this lead all the way to the finish, but we've proven that we have a strong team here, for sure."

After 45km a group of fifteen riders escaped the peloton, including Cantele, Italian champion Monia Baccaille (Valdarno), 2007 World champion Marta Bastianelli (Fenixs-Petrogadgets), Sigrid Corneo (Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo-Ghezzi) and Regina Bruins and Kirsten Wild (both Cervélo TestTeam). 20km further on their lead was up to almost 2 minutes; starting the day just 6 seconds behind her HTC-Columbia teammate Ina Teutenberg, Cantele was already the race leader on the road.

On the climb to Lajatico after X4km an acceleration from Corneo pulled Baccaille and Cantele clear, but they were soon rejoined by the rest of the group.

On the climb to the finish line in Volterra for the first time, with less than 30km to go Cantele, Baccaille and Bruins got clear of the rest. They led over the top and on the descent as they made their was around the finishing circuit; meanwhile, behind them, the peloton caught the rest of the breakaway group.

With 10km to go, on the base of the final climb to the finish, Baccaille attacked but was caught with 7km to go; suddenly Stevens attacked from the peloton behind, catching up with the three leaders.

With 3km to go Cantele and Stevens dropped the other two and the HTC-Columbia riders rode on up the steep hill to the centre of the mediaeval town. As they approached the finish Cantele left Stevens behind as Antoshina escaped from a chase group and made it across. The Russian managed to catch and pass the American, but couldn’t make it up to the Italian.

Cantele crossed the line alone to take the biggest win of what has been a quiet year so far. With the World championships just two weeks away though, the Italian has timed her rise in form well, especially with Dino Salvoldi, the Italian women’s coach present at the finish line.

Cantele took the pink jersey from teammate Ina Teutenberg on the same stage as she took it three years ago. With Stevens and Arndt finishing not far behind the Italian, the HTC-Columbia team still occupies the top three places on the standings.

Result stage 3
1. Noemi Cantele (Ita) HTC-Columbia
2. Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Team Valdarno @ 4s
3. Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Columbia @ 8s
4. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Columbia
5. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Team Valdarno @ 26s
6. Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Gauss-RDZ-Ormu
7. Natalia Boyarskaya (Rus) Fenixs-Petrogadgets @ 30s
8. Emma Johansson (Swe) Swedish National Team @ 32s
9. Annemiek Van Vleuten (Ned) Nederland Bloeit @ 59s
10. Grete Treier (Est) SC Michela Fanini-Record-Rox @ 1’14”

Standings after stage 3
1. Noemi Cantele (Ita) HTC-Columbia
2. Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC-Columbia @ 14s
3. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC-Columbia @ 18s
4. Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Team Valdarno @ 31s
5. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Team Valdarno @ 59s


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