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American Mara Abbott won the biggest women’s stage race in the world for a second time on Sunday. Abbott (U.S. National Team) defended the pink jersey at the Giro d’Italia Femminile to cap a week that saw her win two stages and beat back defending champion and world champion Marianne Vos (Rabobank Women).
Eleonora Van Dijk (Specialized-lululemon) took the eighth and final stage, a 16-kilometer individual time trial in Cremona, in 21:12. Teammate Evelyn Stevens was second at 35 seconds with Shara Gillow (Orica-AIS) third at 0:52.
“I was the favorite for this stage, but the end of a stage race is always unpredictable,” said Van Dijk. “I’m so happy that I achieved my goal.”
Abbott managed only 38th on the day, at 2:13. But it was good enough to clinch the overall by 1:33 ahead of Tatiana Guderzo (MCipollini-Giordana) and 2:18 over Claudia Häusler (Tibco-To the Top).
“I can finally say I managed to do it! Thanks goes to my team, the public and all those who believed in me,” Abbott said. “Now, I’ll have an ice cream, pack my stuff and fly back home where I’ll celebrate with my family and friends. I’ll be back to the Giro to try to be the best once again and to feel the warmth of the Italian fans.”
Guderzo’s taste of success came just short of her pink dreams.
“Like every Giro rider I was dreaming of taking the maglia rosa, but I am really satisfied with my final result,” said Guderzo. “I also want to thank my teammates and race director, Rivolta, for their hard work. It was really a great Giro.”
Vos won three stages, but could not keep pace with Abbott on the steep climbs featured late last week. Wearing pink, the Dutchwoman came unhitched when Abbott and Stevens attacked to Monte Beigua on July 4, and again the next day when Abbott won in San Domenico.
“I am really satisfied with my Giro performance and I want to thank all the organizers of the most prestigious women’s international race, who managed to create an amazing edition,” said Vos. “As always, I tried to do my best to honor this great event. See you again in September in Italy [for the road world championships].”