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Archive for July, 2012

Luperini crowned best Italian rider at the 2012 Giro d’italia Donne

Faren Honda’s Fabiana Luperini can now pack and take home the blue jersey she has proudly been wearing since stage three, through to the end of the 2012 Giro d’Italia Donne which finished in Bergamo today.
Luperini took a strangle hold on the competition after a courageous display of strength in stage three. The Italian climber rode away from the peloton up the penultimate climb with only two other riders able to hold her wheel. She also went on to claim 2nd place in that stage.
Luperini then cemented her lead at the top of the classification by placing a respectable 7th in stage 4, and then again stepping up onto the podium in stage 7 for 3rd place.
Overall, it was a successful tour for team Faren Honda in its maiden showing at the 2012 Giro d’Italia Donne. In addition to Luperini’s Maglia Azure and two podium finishes, Rochelle Gilmore also claimed three top 10 finishes in stages 1, 5 and 6. Current Olympic Champion Nicole Cooke always rode aggressively whilst the team’s domestiques Gracie Elvin, Giuseppina Grassi, Jennifer Hohl and Yulia Blindyuk faithfully dedicated themselves to their leaders to ensure team Faren Honda always remained in contention for results in each stage.
Luperini’s comeback year has been extremely successful, before the Giro she took an impressive solo stage win at the tour of Trentino and her consistency saw her finish 4th on GC today. “I’m content with my results here at the Giro because we didn’t expect them, we were hoping the Giro would consist of more longer climbs like in the previous years – that’s what I needed in order to be in contention for the win.” Luperini said.
Fabiana Luperini has raced the Giro d’Italia 16 times now, winning at her first attempt and then an additional 4 times since. Can she win again? “Fabi is climbing as strong as the strongest in the world and if the climbs were longer here, we may have seen her take a 6th Giro title. She is one of the most professional athletes in the sport so if the course is right for her next year and the team offers strong support – she could definitely win again” said Faren Honda’s team manager, Walter Ricci.
Team Faren Honda will now focus on preparing Nicole Cooke to defend her current title at the 2012 Olympic Games in London on the 29th of July.

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Tough task ahead for Team Faren Honda

Today’s penultimate stage of the 2012 Giro d’Italia was predicted to be one for the pure sprinters but due to the three hilly circuits in the first 60km and many tired legs in the last 50km, the GC riders had another taste of podium success on stage 8.
The pace was very high from the start with attack after attack until one strong rider, Linda Villmusen (Orica) was able to ride off the front.
Villmusen spent 50km’s off the front alone before she was chased down towards the end of the stage. Soon after, with about 20km’s to go, Marianne Vos (Rabo) applied pressure to the pedals through a roundabout on the flat and forced a new break of three riders. It’s rumoured that Vos was riding at 60km/hr when she pulled Stevens and Arndt away from the main peloton.
In spite of the hard chasing determined bunch, Marianne Vos (Rabo) Judith Arndt (Orica) and Evelyn Stevens (Specialized) worked well together to stay away until the finish. Vos took her 5th stage for 2012 from Arndt and Stevens who were 40 seconds ahead of the main peloton.
Nicole Cooke of Faren Honda whole-heartedly worked to close in on the final break of the day in order to strengthen Luperini’s position on the general classification leading into the final 106km stage finishing in Bergamo tomorrow.
Faren Honda have high hopes of assisting Fabiana Luperini in the final stage with their bold ambition to gain 33 seconds over Emma Pooley, which would see Luperini move up to 3rd position on the overall classification for the 2012 Giro d’Italia.

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Luperini earns another Giro d’Italia podium for Team Faren Honda

Faren Honda’s Fabiana Luperini showed her vast experience and strength to sprint into 3rd position in Stage 7 of the Giro d’Italia Femminile.
A tough profile ensured that today’s 128 kilometre stage to Castagnole delle Lanze would provide riders with one of their last opportunities to challenge for the Maglia Rosa as the Giro Donne comes to a close on Saturday.
After an aggressive start, 12 riders managed to establish a break on the peloton at 42 kilometres into the race.
Faren Honda’s Nicole Cooke was active at the front of the chasing peloton as she tried to launch team Faren Honda into the break however the peloton had differentideas as they were reluctant to let the current Olympic Champion escape from the bunch so easily.
The advantage to the breakaway group slowly decreased as team Rabobank chased aggressively leading into the penultimate climb at 20 kilometres to go. It was at this point which current tour leader Marianne Vos (Rabobank) attacked over the summit of the climb with Emma Johansson (Hitec) and Emma Pooley (AA Drink) in tow.
Faren Honda’s Italian superstar Luperini remained composed, keeping her cards close to her chest as she bridged across to the 3 leaders in a small select group.
Heading into the final kilometre Luperini, whilst not being a renowned sprinter, used her years of racing experience to time her sprint to near perfection as she crossed the line in 3rd position behind hill-sprint specialists; Marianne Vos & Emma Johansson.
Tomorrow the team will face more forgiving terrain around the city of Varese where we will most likely see the pure sprinters being given their last chance to taste victory at this year’s Giro d’Italia Femminile.

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Team Faren Honda’s GC rider Fabiana Luperini is chasing the podium in Bergamo

As the 2012 Giro d’Italia Femminile completes 6 days of racing, Team Faren Honda’s Luperini still wears the Blue Jersey as the best placed Italian rider, sitting 4th on the overall general classification.

The undulating profile of Stage 6 provided the perfect opportunity for a breakaway group to contest for the win. Whilst it was again Faren Honda’s Nicole Cooke and Gracie Elvin who remained active at the front, it was the Swiss Champion Jennifer Hohl who made the break of the day.

It was only 20 kilometres into the 109 kilometre stage that the break of 13 riders including Hohl were able to escape from the peloton, the group looked likely to succeed as they quickly achieved a maximum advantage of 35 seconds on the peloton.

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Luperini still sits pretty in blue as one lone rider upsets the potential bunch sprint on stage 5

Stage 5 of the Giro d’Italia had every intention of being a stage for the sprinters, that was until Tiffany Cromwell (Orica-AIS) won in a surprise solo attack forcing the sprinters to battle it out for the minor placings.

Faren Honda’s Nicole Cooke and Gracie Elvin were present at the front of the bunch during the early stages of the race in an attempt tospur a chase from the peloton, however, their attempts proved futile as Cromwell continued to build on her advantage. The bunch clearly wanted a rest day mid- Giro Donne 2012.

It wasn’t until Cromwell became virtual overall race leader on the road that the team of current race leader Marianne Vos (Rabobank) took responsibility at the head of the peloton and went in pursuit of the lone rider with 15 kilometres remaining.

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