Friday, June 28, 2013

Preview of Giro Rosa 2013

Giro d’Italia Internazionale Femminile 2013 is called Giro Rosa. It is the Italian Cycling Federation’s attempt to make the most important stage race of the women’s cycling calendar more appealing to the sponsors and cycling fans.

Sustainability and support from National Federation (FCI) are the two key words for Mr. Rivolta’s “4Erre A.S.D.”. They were the only association able to win the bid issued by FCI in winter to organize the race after the lack of commitment from other organizers. The race has been facing many difficulties and with the risk of being cancelled FCI have now acquired the rights for the race for the next 4 years.

This year’s Giro Rosa includes 8 stages taking place from 30 June to 7 July. On paper it seems to be a race full of surprises. Mostly because of the absence of strong riders like Pooley, Longo Borghini, Cantele & Ina-Yoko Teutemberg. Still, we have two riders in the race a level or two above the rest; Evelyn Stevens and Marianne Vos. 

To help us take a closer look at the favorites, we have asked former Italian champion and World Champion medalist Noemi Cantele to give us her view on the four jersey’s this year.

Noemi Cantele.
Pink Jersey (Overall)
Cantele: “I think for the fight for pink will be a tough battle between Vos and Stevens. There aren’t many difficult descents in this year’s race where Vos can take time and the uphill stages favor Stevens. It will be a close call”.

Green Jersey (KOM)
Cantele: “Pooley won the green jersey last year but she’s not in race this time. I think Stevens has a better chance than Vos. Still, we must consider the important bonus seconds on the line, which can turn out to be a factor in this competition”.

Blue Jersey (Points)
Cantele: ”This is a jersey for Guderzo to win”.

White Jersey (Youth)
Cantele:I think Ratto could end up winning this jersey but there are other young riders with a good chance. We will have to wait and see what happens during the first days”.

Focussing on the 8 stages of this year’s Giro Rosa, we have BePink’s DS and former pro rider himself, Walter Zini to guide you through.

Stage 1 (flat) ★★ 123.80 km.
30/06/2013 Giovinazzo - Margherita di Savoia
Zini:It is a typical stage for the sprinters. Many girls will be eager to take first Pink Jersey of the race. Ina Yoko Teutenberg is the best sprinter right now but unfortunately she’s not taking part in this Giro. Therefore I see Bronzini as the best candidate for the stage win”.

Stage 2 (medium mountains) ★★ 99.60 km.
01/07/2013 Pontecagnano Faiano - Pontecagnano Faiano
Zini: ”It’s more or less flat. The rider were under a lot of pressure on the first stage with the Pink Jersey up for grab. This will be less stressful.  I see Chloe Hosking as a very good candidate for the stage win”.

Stage 3 (medium mountains) ★★★ 111 km.
02/07/2013 Cerro al Volturno - Cerro al Volturno
Zini: ”This is a stage for the GC contenders Vos and Stevens. I also think Johansson will be in the mix. This stage is the first fight between the overall favorites for Giro Rosa”.

Stage 4 (flat) ★★ 137.20 km.
03/07/2013 Monte San Vito – Castelfidardo
Zini: ”Today is a good day for a breakaway to make it. Still, we must remember the time bonuses can change the GC in case of a bunch sprint”.

Stage 5 (high mountains) ★★★★★ 73.30 km.
04/07/2013 Varazze - Monte Beigua
Zini: ”Stevens is the best climber and she is also my favorite for this stage. The climb is steep and that favors Stevens more than Vos. Also, the descent is not difficult enough for Vos to attack”.

Stage 6 (medium mountains) ★★★★ 121 km.
05/07/2013 Terme Di Premia - San Domenico
Zini: ”The standings in the general classification will decide today’s winner. If the podium positions can’t be changed much, I think it’s stage for Johansson, Guderzo or Luperini. These girls will be out of the GC and therefore get a green light to attack from a far”.

Walter Zini. DS of the BePink team.
Stage 7 (flat) 120 km.
06/07/2013 Corbetta - Corbetta
Zini: ”It looks like a bunch sprint but it’s not certain it will happen. The girls will be tired after six hard stages so today could be good for a breakaway”.

Stage 8 (time trial) ★★★★ 16 km.
07/07/2013 Cremona - Cremona
Zini: ”My favorite for the time trial is Van Dijk, no doubt. It will also be interesting to see Guderzo and Luperini fighting to be the best Italian rider”.

Looking at the eight stages, Walter Zini makes it clear that his team, BePink, is starting this Giro Rosa without any pressure. However they are still ambitious. It would be great to win a stage and to be in the Top5 overall with one of my riders but first of all we are here to grow and to learn. It’s a young team and “zero pressure” is the key word for BePink”, he explains.

We will provide daily updates after each stage with special insights and comments from all the protagonists. Stay tuned!

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