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SA’s Wonder Women Quartet for Giro d'Italia Femminile


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SA’s Wonder Women Quartet for Giro d'Italia Femminile

Press Release: Cycling South Africa, 27 June 2011



27 June 2011 – Four South African women have displayed their prestige in the international pro road cycling world as they form part of an 8-member team to participate in a Grand Tour event.


Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio, Joanna Van de Winkel, Marissa Van der Merwe and Cherise Taylor have been selected as part of the starting line-up for the Giro d'Italia Femminile, the women’s version of the Giro d’Italia, from the 1st -10th July 2011.


This is the most number of South African women that has ever been selected for a single race in an esteemed Grand Tour event in Europe – the most we have had in the past has been one rider.


The fantastic news comes merely a year after Cycling South Africa agreed to co-fund an existing local initiative that supports South African women pro cyclists with their inclusion into the Lotto Ladies Team, a Belgian-based pro cycling team. The arrangement is such that CyclingSA is able to change team riders during the course of the season, which runs from March to September, resulting in more South African women gaining exposure at international level. Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio however, is South Africa’s only permanent feature in the Lotto Ladies Team for 2011.


The project was launched two years ago for our ladies to race in an established European pro cycling team in order to gain valuable international team racing experience and equally valuable UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale) points. Tallying UCI points at high profile international events such as the ’Giro assists in each of the riders’ overall world ranking and counts towards possible Olympic qualification.


CyclingSA offers additional funding in full support of the venture, as the costs to establish and manage a road cycling team to tour Europe are simply exorbitant.


Ashleigh’s talent and remarkable progress has not gone unnoticed and Lotto Ladies Team has snapped her up for a permanent team position this season; Joanna’s climbing skills have been commended resulting in being called up to join the team two weeks earlier than anticipated; Lotto Ladies Team is impressed by Cherise’s performances of late; and Marissa has delivered such excellent performances for the team that they have asked her to stay on in Europe.


It is evident that Ashleigh, Joanna, Marissa and Cherise are not selected to make up the numbers - Ashleigh is a serious top-10 contender in the general classification (GC) and will be vying for the Queen of the Mountain jersey and title.


Lotto Ladies Team Roster for 2011 Giro d'Italia Femminile:

  • Ashleigh Moolman-Pasio RSA
  • Joanna Van de Winkel RSA
  • Marissa Van der Merwe RSA
  • Cherise Taylor RSA
  • Ludivine Henrion BEL
  • Kathy Delfosse BEL
  • Rochelle Gilmore AUS
  • Vicki Whitelaw AUS

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why isn't Robyn there?


Robyn will join the Lotto team on the 13th of July.


Lots of credit should go to Roy Gershow for this achievement and many others e.g. their respective coaches and sponsors...

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The Giro Donne kicks off this Friday 1st July from outside the baths of Caracalla in Rome, and after 934km and over 8000m of climbing it finishes on Sunday 10th with a time-trial at San Francesco al Campo just outside Turin. In between it offers something for just about every type of rider, although it wouldn’t be a true Giro d’Italia if it didn’t show just a little bit of bias to those super scrawny climbers. By my reckoning there are three genuine flat sprint stages, one uphill cobbled power sprint, one intermediate/classicy sort of stage, three mountain top finishes and one suicidal downhill dash. If you don’t like at least something there then you’re probably in the wrong forum, or only come here for Barbie Barbie, dolphins and photos of cyclists smothered in baby-oil. So here’s where life forces you to make a choice. Do you click on one of those or Continue reading this post ".




Stage 1 of the Giro is traditionally a bit of a stinker to watch. No matter what little tricks the organisers come up with to break things up, everyone is still too nervous to let even a dead loss group escape, and they still have the legs and the team-mates to be able to do it. This year’s trick is cobbles. And an early climb. They leave Rome along the Via Appia Antica (and if you ever visit Rome, that is one of the nicest Sunday afternoon walks you can make), climb to the Pope’s summer residence at Castel Gandolfo (just a Cat 3 climb) then do a few laps outside Velletri before they hit the cobbled ascent to the finish line in Piazza Cairoli. Will that make a difference to the usual gruppo compatto finish? Well there might be a few gaps in the line to split the classification up a bit, but nothing that will matter at the end of the race.


In Stage 2 things get a bit nastier. The race leaves Pescocostanzo, almost 1400m above the sea in the Appennines, drops 1000m, then climbs back up it again to finish back in the start town. Oh, and in between there’s another 500m climb to go up and down again. It’s an interesting stage because the climbers might be tempted to get some time, but then again there’s stage 3 tomorrow.


Bridie had a few thoughts on stage 3: we drove stage #3 of Giro Donne today. It makes Flanders seem like kindergarten. I’ll need Contador’s compact, a Y chromosome & nutella #noo. This is the stage that looks like we all imagined the 7 Muri Fermani would. No single climb is more than 200m, but there are lots of those making at least 1200m of climbing. Still the Muri Fermani finishes in the same place, and the two winners to date are Giorgia Bronzini and Rasa Laleivyte, so it’s not a dead loss for sprinters.


Stage 4 to Forli was always going to be a sprint stage, but the originally planned laps of the finishing circuit have been cut, leaving it at just 68.9km. That looks like a fast peloton leading to a big bunch sprint. And Stage 5 from Altedo to Verona should be more of the same, even if today the course is nearly twice as long at 126km


Stage 6 finishes in Piacenza, the home town of World Champion Giorgia Bronzini, and the organisers look to have done their best to help the local girl to the win. 15km from the end they cross a small hill at Rivergo, and from then to the finish it is all slightly downhill. But that hill is just 130m higher than the finish line, so it’s hard to see any of the other sprinters being shaken off. Especially since after today they hit the mountains, for three days of suffering and bottle carrying.


Stage 7 and enter the climbers. Or stage 7 and enter the legendary climbs if you prefer, because today it’s time for the Mortirolo. But even though the Mortirolo seems to be the big selling point of this year’s Giro it’s unlikely to be decisive. They go up the long, shallow side, which won’t give the pure climbers much chance to get away, and then if they do the stage actually finishes in Grosotto, at the bottom of the hill. And because little weeny climbers tend to be fairly rubbishy descenders, it could be that the winner today comes from the group that crosses the summit 2nd or 3rd. Actually I like this aspect of the course design. Get the viewers hooked while there are still a few more stages to come.


Stages 8 and 9 are where the race is likely to be decided. Just like the previous day’s Mortirolo stage, stage 8 to Torri di Fraele and Cancano has about 2000m of climbing, but today the finish line is at the top of the mountain, and there are very few downhill stretches to give your legs a chance to rest. Thankfully for some it is under 80km in total. But enjoy those little stretches of rest while you can, because the profile of stage 9 to Ceresole Reale is similar, but almost half as long again at 112km, and although there are only around 1400m of vertical ascent, HTC DS Jens Zemske believes that this stage could be more decisive as the gradients increase the closer you get to the finish line.


Then on Sunday 10th the race concludes with that 16km time trial. It’s almost flat and not in the least bit technical, and very unlikely to shake the GC up. The 2010 course was pretty similar and Ina Teutenberg won that. For the geeks, the table below shows my rough estimates of the nature of the different stages.The figures for climbing are roughish estimates taken from the timetables the organisers publish.

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Team picture?


All team members arrived in Rome today - a team picture will be available tmrw during the team presentation.

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Start list - 168 riders



Diadora - Pasta Zara

o 1 Mara Abbott (USA)

o 2 Claudia Häusler (Ger)

o 3 Inga Cilvinaite (Ltu)

o 4 Rachel Neylan (Aus)

o 5 Shelley Olds (USA)

o 6 Eleonora Patuzzo (Ita)

o 7 Amber Pierce (USA)

o 8 Olga Zabelinskaia (Rus)


Nederland Bloeit

o 11 Sarah Düster (Ger)

o 12 Emilie Aubry (Swi)

o 13 Patricia Schwager (Swi)

o 14 Noortje Tabak (Ned)

o 15 Loes Gunnewijk (Ned)

o 16 Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned)

o 17 Marieke van Wanroij (Ned)

o 18 Marianne Vos (Ned)



o 21 Tatiana Antoshina (Rus)

o 22 Alessandra Borchi (Ita)

o 23 Christel Ferrier-Bruneau (Fra)

o 24 Sylwia Kapusta (Pol)

o 25 Elena Kuchinskaya (Rus)

o 26 Julia Martissova (Rus)

o 27 Valentina Scandolara (Ita)

o 28 Lorena Foresi (Ita)


AA Drink - Leontien.nl Cycling Team

o 31 Trixi Worrack (Ger)

o 32 Daphny van den Brand (Ned)

o 33 Chantal Blaak (Ned)

o 34 Lucinda Brand (Ned)

o 35 Irene van den Broek (Ned)

o 36 Linda Villumsen (NZl)

o 37 Heleen Van Vliet (Ned)

o 38 Marijn De Vries (Ned)



o 41 Marline Bras (Bel)

o 42 Amy Pieters (Ned)

o 43 Petra Dijhman (Ned)

o 44 Anna van der Breggen (Ned)

o 45 Esra Tromp (Ned)

o 46 Roxane Knetemann (Ned)

o 47 Anne De Wildt (Ned)

o 48 Birgit Lavrijssen (Ned)


Hitec Products - UCK

o 51 Emma Johansson (Swe)

o 52 Sara Mustonen (Swe)

o 53 Tone Hatteland (Nor)

o 54 Lise Nöstvold (Nor)

o 55 Fröydis Waerstad (Nor)

o 56 Johanna Bergseth (Nor)

o 57 Tiffany Cromwell (Aus)

o 58 Cecilie Johansen (Nor)


HTC Highroad Women

o 61 Judith Arndt (Ger)

o 62 Charlotte Becker (Ger)

o 63 Emilia Fahlin (Swe)

o 64 Ally Stacher (USA)

o 65 Ina Teutenberg (Ger)

o 66 Evelyn Stevens (USA)

o 67 Eleonora van Dijk (Ned)

o 68 Amanda Miller (USA)


S.C. Michela Fanini Rox

o 71 Grete Treier (Est)

o 72 Martina Ruzickova (Cze)

o 73 Verónica Leal Balderas (Mex)

o 74 Nina Ovzharenko (Ukr)

o 75 Sara Grifi (Ita)

o 76 Malgorzta Jasinska (Pol)

o 77 Ella Michal (Isr)

o 78 Karin Aune (Swe)


Top Girls Fassa Bortolo

o 81 Elena Berlato (Ita)

o 82 Valentina Carretta (Ita)

o 83 Jennifer Fiori (Ita)

o 84 Simona Frapporti (Ita)

o 85 Elisa Longo Borgini (Ita)

o 86 Bridie O'Donnell (Aus)

o 87 Silvia Valsecchi (Ita)

o 88 Gloria Presti (Ita)


Vaiano Solaristech

o 91 Valentina Bastianelli (Ita)

o 92 Irene Falorni (Ita)

o 93 Rasa Leleivyte (Ltu)

o 94 Urte Juodvalkyte (Ltu)

o 95 Simona Martini (Ita)

o 96 Katarzyna Sosna (Ltu)

o 97 Eleonora Spaliviero (Ita)

o 98 Flavia Oliveira (Bra)


Colavita Forno d'Asolo

o 101 Giorgia Bronzini (Ita)

o 102 Giada Borgato (Ita)

o 103 Alessandra D'ettorre (Ita)

o 104 Theresa Cliff-ryan (USA)

o 105 Heather Logan (Can)

o 106 Andrea Dvorak (USA)

o 107 Tetyana Riabchenko (Ukr)

o 109 Svetlana Pauliukaite (Ltu)


SC Mcipollini Giordana

o 111 Nicole Cooke (GBr)

o 112 Tatiana Guderzo (Ita)

o 113 Rossella Callovi (Ita)

o 114 Monia Baccaille (Ita)

o 115 Marta Bastianelli (Ita)

o 116 Marta Tagliaferro (Ita)

o 117 Jennifer Hohl (Swi)

o 118 Fabiana Luperini (Ita)


Lotto Honda Team

o 121 Rochelle Gilmore (Aus)

o 122 Catherine Delfosse (Bel)

o 123 Ludivine Henrion (Bel)

o 124 Ashleigh Moolman (RSA)

o 125 Cherise Taylor (RSA)

o 126 Marissa van der Merwe (RSA)

o 127 Joanna Van De Winkel (RSA)

o 128 Vicki Whitelaw (Aus)



o 131 Shara Gillow (Aus)

o 132 Davina Summers (Aus)

o 133 Monica Hernandez (Mex)

o 134 Polona Batagelj (Slo)

o 135 Ruth Corset (Aus)

o 136 Cristina Alcalde Huertanos (Spa)

o 137 Ana Garcia Antequera (Spa)

o 138 Dorleta Zorrilla Braceras (Spa)


Garmin - Cervelo

o 141 Elizabeth Armitstead (GBr)

o 142 Jessie Daams (Bel)

o 143 Sharon Laws (GBr)

o 144 Lucy Martin (GBr)

o 145 Emma Pooley (GBr)

o 146 Carla Ryan (Aus)

o 147 Iris Slappendel (Ned)

o 150 Noemi Cantele (Ita)


Kleo Ladies Team

o 151 Tania Belvederesi (Ita)

o 152 Chiara Bortolus (Ita)

o 153 Martina Corazza (Ita)

o 154 Chiara Nadalutti (Ita)

o 155 Angela McClure (Aus)

o 156 Andrea Graus (Aut)

o 157 Francesca Tognali (Ita)

o 158 Annalisa Cucinotta (Ita)


Topsport Vlaanderen 2012 - Ridley Team

o 161 Ine Beyen (Bel)

o 162 Liesbeth De Vocht (Bel)

o 163 Latoya Bruleé (Bel)

o 164 Kaat Hannes (Bel)

o 165 Maaike Polspoel (Bel)

o 166 Grace Verbeke (Bel)

o 167 Else Belmans (Bel)

o 168 Annelies Van Doorslaer (Bel)

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Preview: Giro Donne Stage 1 from http://www.podiumcafe.com/2011/6/30/2253081/preview-giro-donne-stage-1


Rome - Velletri (86km)

Friday 1st July


Everyone’s had a day around Rome and a chance to do all the sightseeing sort of things, but now it’s time to get to work. And just to emphasise how this isn’t going to be an easy ride, stage 1 from Rome to Velletri starts and ends on cobbles. This how the organisers describe it:




The Giro Donne leaves Rome. The capital, la Citta Eterna, and the symbol of the unity of Italy, but also a necessary journey for a true Giro d’Italia. The heart of Rome will come out to applaud the athletes and the entire caravan of the Corsa Rosa. The race then, as soon as it gets beyond the streets of the Italian capital, heads towards the South. Towards the hills of Castelli Romani where it reaches after eighty-six kilometres the citadel of Velletri. The citadels that surround Rome are are fertile grounds, rich in history and wine. We cross Castel Gandolfo, Albano Laziale and finally, just before Velletri, Ariccia and Genzano di Roma. A shortish stage to try out the condition, but not to conceal a profile that on the map is able to give an early boost to the most daring attackers, particularly in the finale when the entrance to Velletri offers beneath the wheels of the women an attractive climb, ideal for making the definitive acceleration. Nothing appears obvious or predictable, right from the start. The sprinters will have to work hard to reach the first finish line and their teams will have to keep the race on a tight thread, particularly in the finale.




On paper it’s a great stage, leaving Rome by the most beautiful way out, passing through little towns whose names you will recognise if you ever read Livy’s Early History of Rome as being one-time allies, enemies or both. At 36 km it reaches the high point of the day as it crosses the hill at Castel Gandolfo, best known as the site of the Pope’s summer residence, before descending slightly to Velletri, where they will build the distance and test the legs a little with four laps of a short circuit just outside town. That circuit shows a little bump on the profile, but according to the race handbook it is only 40m over 3km i.e. just over 1%, i.e. nothing. But then comes that final ascent up Corso della Repubblica, of some 250m at 12%. And it’s pretty narrow too. The only thing not in its favour is the tendency for the peloton to ride the first stage of the Giro Donne very very conservatively, whatever the parcours. It might look like a good stage for a break, but that's not going to happen.




And as I predicted Vos for the win, the big question is who’s might beat her today? Well this is the sort of territory that we’d usually expect to see Emma Johansson as her main opponent, and maybe Nicole Cooke or Giorgia Bronzini in the mix too. If you want to offer your own prediction then you’ve got until around 15:00 CET tomorrow to do it honestly.


Profile and map via www.girodonne.it

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Flem L


I see that they are riding with Aus and Bel team members.


How do they get past the communication barrier ?


Also, have they riden long together as a team ? Surely the more time you spend together, the more you will feel like putting it on the line for your team ? Or is it a case of you being paid - just get on with it ?

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