|Durango, Emakumeen Bira (SPA) and Giro di Trentino (ITA)|
|Thursday, 21 June 2012 17:07|
After a few days recovery after returning from the USA, Nicole and the Faren Honda Team were racing again in Spain in Durango. Nicole suffered a mechanical when a spoke broke in her back wheel at the critical time in the race and lost a lot of time on the front group after changing wheels. Nicole chased but was unable to catch the leading group and finished in 17th place behind race winner Emma Pooley (AA Drink)
Nicole showed consistent form during the Emakumeen Bira stage race finishing in 17th place. There is still some improvements needed on her climbing and race intensity but overall the racing form in continuing to improve and bodes well. There were stage wins for Ina Teutenberg (Specialized Lululemon), Emma Pooley (AA Drink), Linda Villumsen (Green Edge) and Annemiek Van Vleuten (Rabobank) with Judith Arndt (Green Edge) winning the race overall.
The 2 day Giro di Trentino was full of action from the start. On Stage 1 the race split up on the first climb after 15km and Nicole was in the front group of 20. There were many attacks and Nicole was making break aways and covering the moves as best possible being the sole rider from her team up front. The race began to split up and the front group gradually disintegrated under the pressure with Nicole loosing contact over the 3rd GPM. Nicole was caught by the bunch and finished in 19th place taking a solid 4th place in the bunch sprint. The stage was won by Noemi Cantele (BePink) from a leading group of 8 riders and best placed Faren Honda rider was Luisa Taminini in xth place.
Stage 2 was another hilly course and the race split up on the first of 4 laps and a front group of 40 riders formed. On the second lap Nicole’s team mate Fabiana Luperini attacked and a break away of 4 riders formed. Fabiana went on to win the stage by attacking on the last lap and finishing solo, a fantastic victory and a great performance by one of the legends of female cycling. Over her long career, Fabiana has won 5 Giro D’Italia, 3 Tour de France and many World Cup rounds. There were attacks in the front group coming in to the finish and as the group split Nicole finished 14th, a few seconds behind 5 riders who led home the front group.
The stage race finished with a 6km Time Trial and Nicole finished 26th giving her 20th overall. The stage was won by Linda Villumsen (Green Edge) who also won the Overall Classification.