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Polikeviciute twins take Stage 1 at Giro

Rasa and Jolanta Polikeviciute are laying down the law at the 2003 women’s Giro d'Italia. Their adversaries are surrendering to the twins; the two Lithuanians, along with their countrywoman, Edita Pucinskaite swept the first three positions on the tour’s opening stage and sit comfortably atop general classification. The first stage of the Giro d'Italia started in Grumo Nevano, seen off by a large group of spectators, and it concluded 119 kilometers later in Guardia Sanframondi, in the province of Benevento. Rasa attacked 10 km from the line, on the second ascent from Castelvenere to

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By VeloNews Interactive

Rasa and Jolanta Polikeviciute are laying down the law at the 2003 women’s Giro d’Italia. Their adversaries are surrendering to the twins; the two Lithuanians, along with their countrywoman, Edita Pucinskaite swept the first three positions on the tour’s opening stage and sit comfortably atop general classification.

The first stage of the Giro d’Italia started in Grumo Nevano, seen off by a large group of spectators, and it concluded 119 kilometers later in Guardia Sanframondi, in the province of Benevento. Rasa attacked 10 km from the line, on the second ascent from Castelvenere to Guardia Sanframondi, which was first encountered 22km from the finish.

Rasa Polikeviciute had gained 1:15 on her pursuers when the other Lithuanian, Edite Pucinskaite, and the Swiss Nicole Brändli exited the field with her sister Jolanta. “When I saw that I was 40 seconds up and the others were not catching me, I knew that my team was working well and that I would be able to hold on until the line,” said the winner later.

Both Polikeviciutes started racing bikes at age 14 and have many important victories to their credit. Rasa won the 2001 world road championship, while Jolanta won a stage of the Tour de France last year. They both live in Castel San Pietro, near Bologna.

With her stage one win, Rasa Polikeviciute has donned the leader’s pink jersey. The top American is Amber Neben in ninth place at 1:09.

Jolanta and Rasa Polikeviciute won the two QOMs during the stage, and Jolanta Polikeviciute was awarded the green jersey of mountain leader. The white jersey currently belongs to Australia’s Oenone Wood. Sunday’s second stage traverses 85 kilometers from Colle Sannita to San Marco dei Cavoti. It promises to be a short but nervous stage. From Colle Sannita the riders descend to Reino and then they climb to San Giorgio La Molara. Flat roads carry them to Molinara, after which they again climb to Colle Sannita and head to San Marco dei Cavoti, where another QOM awaits at the mountaintop finish.
Translation by Lennard Zinn

Stage 1 results
1. Rasa Polikeviciute (LTU), 119km in 3:07:01 (37.055kph)
2. Jolanta Polikeviciute (LTU) at 47
3. Edita Puciskaite (LTU)
4. Nicole Brändli (SWI) a 49
5. Joana Arriola Somarriba (SP) at 53
6. Oenone Wood (AUS) a 1:03
7. Zinaida Stahurskaia (BLR)
8. Modesta Vzesniauskaite (LTU) at 1:05
9. Olivia Gollan (AUS) at 1:09
10. Eneritz Iturriaga (SP) a 1:16
16. Marianna Lorenzoni (I) at 1:23
18. Noemi Cantele (I) at 1:23

General classification
1. Rasa Polikeviciute (LTU)
2. Edita Puciskaite (LTU) at 42
3. Nicole Brändli (SWI) at 45
4. Jolanta Polikeviciute (LTU) at 47
5. Joana Arola Somarriba (SP) at 51
6. Zinaida Stahurskaia (BLR) at 55
7. Oenone Wood (SVI) a 1:02
8. Modesta Vzesniauskaite (LTU) at 1:05
9. Amber Neben (USA) at 1:09
10. Olivia Gollan (AUS).