Mara comes across the finish line of Stage 8.
In the 70-km 8th stage of the 2011 Giro Donne, Diadora-Pasta Zara gave it their all.
Won by climber Emma Pooley of Garmin Cervelo, the extremely arduous, grueling stage, filled with challenging climbs, culminated in a chilling rain.
Mara Abbott finished 7th in the stage, 3:16 back of Pooley and race leader Marianne Vos, who rode Pooley’s wheel all the way across the finish line, further solidifying her position at the top of the GC. Olga Zabelinskaya finished 14th in the stage, and Claudia Hausler came across the line 19th.
Mara remains at 10th in the GC, now more than 10 minutes back of the dominant Vos. Olga stands at 14th and Claudia at 18th.
Sport Director Manel Lacambra told Team Marketing Coordinator Milay Galvez after the stage that he is very pleased with his team’s effort over the last few days, but unfortunately, the team is not in a position to win this year’s race.
“First, I have to say that I am very happy because the team has given 100% in this race,” said Manel.
“If I have to summarize what has happened at the Giro. I would say that unfortunately, the falls that Mara and other members of the team suffered during the preparation for the Giro and during the Giro compromised our fight for the GC,” he explained. “We have tried to work very hard for Mara in every moment, but she is not at her optimal condition to win this race.”
Claudia Hausler’s boyfriend, also in the Fuji family, visited the team today.
He surprised Claudia with “Linzer Torte,” which he baked himself! The team was a big fan. Here Rachel Neylan enjoys the traditional Austrian recipe.
After so many days of racing, the riders are growing tired of their protein bars. Here Amber Pierce makes a big effort to eat her pre-race snack.
Olga Zabelinskaya warms up on her trainer before the start of the stage.
Claudia gives a pre-race interview.
Claudia was in second in the break away for much of the stage, displaying an incredible level of strength and power after working so hard for her team captain this week.
Always smiling, Inga Cilvinaite pedals by the team car with a grin. Inga was in the main peloton throughout the stage.
Claudia flies through the beautiful, alpine scenery.
Mara grabs a bottle of water after the grueling stage. Mara climbed with the lead group for nearly the entire stage, but on the last kilometers of gravel road, she lost some seconds.
Claudia Hausler said after the stage, “The result wasn’t good for us, but it was great, fun racing today. I tried to stay in the breakaway, and I think I was there for 90% of the stage. And when I realized I could not win the stage, I worked for Mara as much as I could.”
Rain made the last, two unpaved kilometers muddier, and Inga, along with Amber, Rachel, and Eleonora needed some serious clean-up before the 5-hour ride to the team hotel in Turin.
Amber and Inga had their legs washed off after the stage. Amber is always in good spirits, arriving at the team truck after the wet, cold stage with a smile on her face. When Soigneur Barbara started cleaning off her legs, she joked, “I feel like I’m at the spa, having an exfoliation treatment.”
Despite the rain, eager children flocked to Mara after the stage for autographs, and she happily obliged.