The Giro Donne is, quite arguably, the most prestigious and difficult race in the world for women racers. Last year it was won in emphatic and dramatic style by wunder-pedaler, Marianne Vos.
This year, the race appears to be wide-open, as bucketfulls of riders are using the race to prep their fitness going into the Olympics. Coming off the 2012 national championships weekend … there are a lot of riders showing huge form going into this year’s Donne. Who will take the big prize?
Liza Rachetto – the woman who has raced all around the world, but is centered in NorCal – will be riding for the Forno d’Asolo Colavita team. Liza has competed in so many international races that i can’t keep up with where she’s waldo’ing next.
Shelly Olds – 2012 Olympian, 2-time US National Champ in both the Criterium (road) and Scratch Race (track), and winner of a world cup road race will be riding for the AA Drink – Leontien.nl Cycling Team. Olds has a new website, you can check it at: http://www.shelleyoldsusa.com/
Amber Pierce – riding for the Diadora – Pasta Zara Team, will be seen at the front of the race more than anybody. Winner of the 2011 Tour d’ Nez, Pierce is a valued gregario because of her inhuman ability to suffer. But, she’s also a nifty rider for the break-away, and with her team perhaps missing a big GC rider … we could see Amber out on the attack more than ever in this year’s Donne!
Flavia Oliveira is on the start list for the Forno d’Asolo Colavita team as well, but I’ve heard word she might not be able to make it to the Donne this year. That’d be a big disappointment, as the diminutive climber is on huge form this year.
Other Americans to watch and cheer for?
Evie Stevens – the SpeciaLulu rider was nipped by a second for the TT title in the US by Amber Neben … but, everyone has been in awe of her road racing this year – and word is that her form is going to drop jaws at this year’s Donne. If you’re looking for a GC-bet … this might be your ticket.
Ally Stacher – Stevens’ teammate and a die-hard workhorse, Stacher will be seen all over the TV screens for this year’s Donne. The Specialemons will have InaT for the sprints, and Clara Hughes as a darkhorse, too. It could be a big, big Giro for the team this year.
Whitney Gaggioli – this 24 year old from Wisconsin is a mystery to me. She’s been in Europe for the past couple years, and I’m not above a little nationalism to give her a cheer. She’s also riding for the Forno d’Asolo Colavita team.
Vos is the boss – and her talent is not only unquestioned, but it very well may be unrivaled. She broke a collar bone in May during a race … and still finished 60k+ on it, and nabbed a second place.
that’s just ridiculously burly.
So, will Vos’ recovery be solid enough to win a second Donne? Riders looking to be in massive condition to challenge her are Claudia Hausler and Judith Arndt of Orica, Emma Pooley of AA, maybe former winner Fabiana Luperini, and of course some multi-syllabic eastern european rider will show up and chew on necks.
But … i’m going with Vos. Cuz she rides track and cross like nobody’s bidness.
— can’t wait!
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