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Australian Professional Cyclist

Luperini lands on the podium after a tough battle at the Giro d’Italia.

Faren Honda’s Fabiana Luperini set a blistering pace up the penultimate climb in Stage 3 leaving the straggling peloton in her wake as she claimed 2nd place behind alate attack from breakaway companion Evelyn Stevens (USA) from team Specialized Lululemon.

Again, the riders were challenged by scorching hot conditions as they started the first mountain stage of thetour, a 124km continuously undulating circuit marked by two significant 7 kilometre climbs.

As the terrain and brutal weather conditions gradually took their toll on the dwindling peloton, Luperini looked at home tapping comfortably up the first climb at the head of the group.

Teammates Swiss Champion Jennifer Hohl and Giussepina Grassi (MEX) dedicated themselves to their leader and were faithfully right by Luperini’s side as the broken peloton fronted the final climb at 96km into to race.

A destructive attack came from Luperini (ITA), Emma Pooley (GBR) and Evelyn Stevens (USA) with 20km remaining and the trio powered up the climb to quickly establish a 1-minute lead on their chasers.

With 5 kilometres to go, a fast closing chase from current tour leader Marianne Vos (NED) sparked Luperini to courageously attack her companions and go in search of the finish line solo.

Unfortunately Stevens was able to climb her way back up to Luperini and after taking some time to recover, Stevens countered attacked and went on to cross the line in 1st position, alone. Luperini outsprinted Pooley to take an impressive 2nd place in stage 3 today.

“I crossed the line very frustrated today. Our group of 3 riders were being chased down by Vos who was closing in very quickly during the final 5kms and there was no collaboration by Pooley to hold her off so, I took responsibility and lifted the pace, soon to be counter attacked by Stevens.” Commented Luperini after today’s exciting finish.

Luperini is now 4th on the general classification and will wear the distinctive blue jersey of thebest placed Italian rider going into tomorrow’s 4th stage.

Tomorrow’s stage features another mountain climb around the town of Montecatini and given Luperini’s exceptional climbing form and previous success in this area, we can expect to see her determined to move up on the general classification before the stages flatten out a little during the following days.

Above: Jennifer Hohl assisting Faren Honda’s lead rider – Fabiana Luperini.
Above: Fabiana Luperini in a small dwindling group.
Above: Frustrated Luperini crossing the line on stage 3 ahead of Pooley.
Above: Fabiana Luperini receiving her well deserved flowers after a tough day in the office!
Above: Today’s jersey winners at the Giro d’Italia. Vos (Yellow/Points) Stevens (Rosa/Leader) Pooley (Green/Mountains) Borghini (White/Young Rider) Luperini (Blue/First Italian).
Stage Three Results:
1) Evelyn Stevens (Team Specialized Lululemon) km 124 in 3h34’25” alla media di 34,699 km/h
2) Fabiana Luperini (Faren Honda Team) a 20″
3) Emma Pooley (AA Drink a 20″
4) Marianne Vos (Stichting Rabobank) a 31″
5) Claudia Hausler (GreenEdge AIS) a 2’02”
6) Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products Mistral Home) a 2’21”
7) Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini Giambenini) a 2’21”
8) Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto Belisolo) a 2’22”
9) Judith Arndt (GreenEdge AIS) a 2’30”
10) Annemiek Van Vleuten (Stichting Rabobank)
General Classification after stage three:
1) Evelyn Stevens (Team Specialized Lululemon) in 7h31’53”
2) Marianne Vos (Stichting Rabobank) a 12”
3) Emma Pooley (AA Drink a 31”
4) Fabiana Luperini (Faren Honda Team) a 1’01”
5) Judith Arndt (GreenEdge AIS) a 2’35”
6) Claudia Hausler (GreenEdge AIS) a 2’39”
7) Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini Giambenini) a 2’41”
8) Elisa Longo Borghini (Hitec Products Mistral Home) a 2’51”
9) Ashleigh Moolman (Lotto Belisol Ladies) a 2’51”
10) Annemiek Van Vleuten (Stichting Rabobank) 5’30”
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