Friday, July 10, 2009

GiroDonne, Stage 7

Germany's Claudia Hausler (Cervelo Test Team) has won today's 131 Km stage to Castel del Monte (BT) which began in a festive Andria. Häusler kept her the maglia rosa and increased her overall lead to 17 seconds over Judith Arndt (Columbia HTC) in the GC (who finished second today). Arndt's teammate, Mara Abbot, finished third.

Cervelo Test Team's Manel Lacambra, Sports Director, said, "Today was a very long and windy stage. Our team, once again, did a great job protecting Claudia throughout the stage. There were a lot of attacks during the race but nothing dangerous for our jersey. Columbia chased the break aways back and were working for Arndt whose goal was to win the stage and take the bonus seconds for the maglia rosa. In the final 4 km climb there was a group with Arndt, Abbot, Häusler and Armstrong. Armstrong helped Claudia and Abbot was working for Arndt. At the end, Claudia had the best reserves and won the stage one second ahead of Judith Arndt. She also received 4 bonus seconds for the victory and now leads the GC by 17 seconds. Our goal for the final two stages will be to defend our lead. Claudia's victory is not only a stage victory for her also a victory for the entire Cervélo Test Team – they did an amazing job today. We are strong and the strongest team will win the Giro Donne.”

“The wind and the hot weather made today's stage difficult," said Claudia Häusler. "But my team protected me perfectly and has worked very hard for me so that I could save all my energy for the final climb. Without this great team it would be not possible to ride like this. In the last uphill, Columbia was leading and working for Arndt but 500m ahead of the finish they went bust and I attacked with 300m to go and won the stage.”

"It was a very combative stage," said Judith Arndt. "We tried to put the pink jersey in difficulty but Häusler defended it very well. In the sprint there was nothing we could do. There are only two days remaining and 17 seconds between Häusler and myself. Mara Abbott, 3rd in GC, and I will do everything we can, including attacking alternately, to change the outcome of the race."

Stage 7 top 10 results:
1 Claudia Hausler (Ger) Cervelo TestTeam 3:26:08
2 Judith Arndt (Ger) Team Columbia HTC Women 0:00:01
3 Mara Abbott (USA) Team Columbia HTC Women 0:00:06
4 Nicole Brandli (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 0:00:10
5 Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Fenixs Edilsavino 0:00:14
6 Kristin Armstrong (USA) Cervelo TestTeam
7 Susanne Ljungskog (Swe) Team Flexpoint
8 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Selle Italia Ghezzi
9 Diana Ziliute (Ltu) Safi - Pasta Zara Titanedi 0:00:30
10 Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox 0:00:34

Top 10 GC:
1 Claudia Hausler (Ger) Cervelo TestTeam 19:16:41
2 Judith Arndt (Ger) Team Columbia HTC Women 0:00:17
3 Mara Abbott (USA) Team Columbia HTC Women 0:00:50
4 Nicole Brandli (Swi) Bigla Cycling Team 0:02:53
5 Emma Pooley (GBr) Cervelo TestTeam 0:05:41
6 Carla Ryan (Aus) Cervelo TestTeam 0:08:34
7 Fabiana Luperini (Ita) Selle Italia Ghezzi 0:09:13
8 Svetlana Bubnenkova (Rus) Fenixs Edilsavino 0:09:20
9 Edita Pucinskaite (Ltu) Gauss RDZ Ormu - Colnago 0:10:40
10 Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) S.C. Michela Fanini Record Rox 0:12:59

Jersey classifications:
Pink: Claudia Hausler (Cervelo Test Team)
Cyclamen: Judith Arndt (Team Columbia HTC)
Green: Mara Abbott ( Team Columbia HTC)
White: Elizabeth Armitstead (Lotto Belisol Ladies Team)

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