First Giro Rosa for Italian champion Elena Cecchini
Today the Giro Rosa (3 – 12 July) starts with a prologue in Ljubljana, in Slovenia. One of the eight Lotto Soudal Ladies at the start is Elena Cecchini, who won the Italian road title last weekend for the second year in a row. She talks about that race and her expectations for her first Giro.
Elena Cecchini: “It wasn’t easy to win the Italian title a second time. At the end of the race there was a climb of five kilometres with an average gradient of 10% and parts up to 15%. I got away before that climb and our group had one minute advantage. I rode the race with the military team. Bastianelli and Frapporti, who are strong time trialists, helped me to create a gap. You had to be careful not to use all your energy at once on the climb, so I kept a steady pace. I arrived solo at the finish with 21 seconds advantage on Longo Borghini. This jersey is so special. The last days I felt a bit emotional because I thought it were the last moments in the jersey, that I can wear it one more year makes me so happy. Especially now with the Giro Rosa.”
“Because this is my first Giro, I don’t really know what to expect. No doubt, it will be a fantastic experience. It will help me to grow. I’m also curious to see how my body will react after ten days of racing. As an Italian I am proud this race is organized in my country. I will help our climbers Jessie Daams and Carlee Taylor where I can. There are a few stages where a break could make it to the finish and I will have a go of my own on those days. We don’t have a top sprinter in our team, but I’ll do the sprints and see which place I get. I’m looking forward to show the jersey. The first three days my fan club will come to support me, because it’s close to my home.”
Selection Lotto Soudal Ladies:
Elena Cecchini, Jessie Daams, Lieselot Decroix, Chantal Hoffmann, Sarah Rijkes, Carlee Taylor, Anisha Vekemans and Susanna Zorzi.