Columbia-HTC's Abbott Wins in Italy
Photo: courtesy Hans Meier06-07-2009 22:30:32 A tough mountain stage in the Giro d"Italia Femminile has seen Mara Abbott claim victory for Columbia-HTC.
Photo: courtesy Hans Meier
Abbott outsprinted British rider Emma Pooley at the end of the 106-kilometre stage three of the giro d'Italia Femminile, which started in Calcinaia and finished with a double ascent of the gruelling Monteserra climb.
The 23-year-old American was delighted about the victory. "It's really exciting. There are so many good riders on this team that even though I felt strong, it was difficult to imagine that I could actually be strong enough to go for the win," Abbott said afterwards.
Abbott initially broke away with Pooley on the first ascent of the 10-kilometre Monteserra, but came off her bike on the downhill section of the climb. "The descent was very tricky because it had rained and I crashed, although fortunately I wasn't injured. Linda [Villumsen, Columbia-HTC teammate] guided me back up to the front group before we reached the Montesierra again. Almost as soon as we did, I got away again with Pooley. Then when [Pooley's teammate Claudia] Haussler got across, I attacked and managed to drop her, which left me and Pooley as stage leaders. Pooley did most of the work, but I couldn't collaborate because I wanted to defend [teammate] Judith Arndt's position on GC. Finally at the summit, I attacked about 800 metres from the top and went for the win."
Now second overall, Abbott was cautiously optimistic about Columbia-HTC's chances of winning, either with her or another rider. "There are some very tough stages coming up, but Judith [Arndt] is still high up on the overall so we've got a lot of options, not just me. But in any case, I'm very pleased about things have worked out today. It was cool!"
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