Canadian Cyclist


July 9/98 2:39 am - Stage 9, Linda Jackson loses Pink Jersey to Luperini

Posted by Editor on 07/9/98

Giro d'Italia Femminile - Stage 9 - Predazzo - Canazei (Pordoi)
Luperini Reigns on Pordoi Pass and Dons the Pink Jersey
Jackson Doesn't Loosen her Grip
(story courtesy Nica Lewis, Press Officer for the Tour)

Today on the steep climb that wends up to Pordoi Pass in the scenic Dolomites, Italian Fabiana Luperini wrote one of the most beautiful pages in the history of women's cycling, already rich with other memorable stories. The Tuscan champion, winner of the last three editions of the race for the pink jersey, dominated the 95 km Predazzo-Pordoi, 9th stage of the Women's Giro d'Italia.

The athlete from the GS Mimosa Sprint "Energia della Frutta" launched an attack at the beginning of the final 12km climb from Canazei to Pordoi Pass - a difficult climb that rises 794m (almost 2400 feet) to the 2239m summit (more than 6700 feet). Luperini's progress on the 25 switchbacks that led to Pordoi was truly impressive, especially considering Jackson's admirable resistance. Jackson arrived second with only one minute delay. Right afterwards, the Canadian congratulated Luperini on an incredible
performance. On the heels of these two regents of this year's Giro, Heeb, Somarriba and Pucinskaite arrived at 2'21".

"My team mates did a great job and prepared the best route for me. I started in a really tough gear when the road was steep because I wanted to get an immediate advantage," said Luperini. "With each kilometer, I gained precious seconds. I was truly impressed with Jackson, who I already admired as a cyclist, but now also for her great loyalty. As soon as she crossed the finish line, she came to congratulate me. To tell the truth, I'm not used to such gracious gestures."

Tomorrow's 97.5 km course will be completely flat -- perfect for the sprinters in the group -- with start and finish in Bibione, on the Adriatic coast near Venice. The stage is preparation for the much-awaited and very demanding 11th stage, Longarone-Tambre, scheduled for Saturday, July 11th. It will probably paint a clearer picture of the overall standings for the race for the pink jersey in the epilogue on Sunday July 12th (the 116km Conegliano-Vittorio Veneto).

Passo Pordoi, July 9, 1998

Stage 9 results:
1 Luperini Fabiana (Ita, Mimosa-Sprint) 99,7 km, 2:50:38,
2 Jackson Linda (Can, Saeco-Timex) a 1:00;
3 Heeb Barbara(Sui, Acca Due O Lorena) a 2:21;
4 Somarriba Joana (Esp, Vittorio VenetoSprint) a 2:27;
5 Pucinskaite Edita (Ltu, Acca Due O) s.t.;
6 Cappellotto Alessandra (Ita, Acca Due O Lorena) a 2:49;
7 Polkanova Valentina (Rus, Edilsavino) a 3:47;
8 Bandini Barbara (Ita, Edilsavino) a 3:51;
9 Chiappa Imelda (Ita, Edilsavino) a 3:59;
10 Sundstedt Pia(Fin, Mimosa Sprint) s.t.

1 Luperini Fabiana (Ita, Mimosa-Sprint) 848.6 km, 22:28:09
2 Jackson Linda (Can, Saeco-Timex) at :45;
3 Heeb Barbara (Sui, Acca Due O Lorena) at 2:27;
4 Pucinskaite Edita (Ltu, Acca Due O) at 4:09;
5 Cappellotto Alessandra (Ita, acca Due O Lorena) at 4:48;
6 Bandini Barbara (Ita, Edilsavino) at 4:59;
7 Somarriba Joana (Esp, Vittorio Veneto Sprint) at 5:14;
8 Sundstedt Pia(Fin, Mimosa Sprint) at 6:01;
9 Chiappa Imelda (Ita, Edilsavino) at 6:07;
10 Polkanova Valentina (Rus, Edilsavino) at 7:48

Linda Jackson's Statement
" I felt really strong today till the first meters of the Pordoi!. My team-mates did a great job today. They all the time cared for me in order to bring me in the first positions before beginning to climb. As far, it was my job to stay in Fabiana Luperini's wheel. But she attacked immediately ! I knew I had to catch her as soon as possible. I was in the pack with Barbara Heeb and Alessandra Capellotto. They asked me to stay with them and make the tempo. I answered "no way! I need to attack and attack again. The pink jersey is right over there!" The margin was never that big but at two kilometers from the finish Luperini attacked again . I did my best but I knew it was too late to catch her up anyway! So my legs became weaker!" The Giro is not over and Linda Jackson knows there is still a chance for her to win the race. "We will see what happen in the next stages. Saturday's final climb seems to be there for Fabiana but you know there are so many places where you can attack, not just when the road begins to climb! I really like that race. 45 seconds: yes! But why not? I will try till the end."


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