By Ben Atkins
World champion Marta Bastianelli is to ride the women's Giro d'Italia next month after all, in the colours of Dilà Monticello Guerciotti. The 21 year-old signed a contract with the team until December 2008, specifically so she could ride the Giro Donne.
"I have tried everything in order to participate in this competition," said Bastianelli, "not only because it is the most important race on the calendar, but also because it is an honour to compete in Italy while wearing the rainbow jersey. I have embraced the colours of the Dilà Monticello Guerciotti team because I could not ride the Giro with my squad [Safi-Pasta Zara Manhattan], because it is affiliated with another squad that participates in the contest [Titanedi-Freza-Acca 2 O]. So, after a number of unexpected changes, here I am".
Giuseppe Revolta, the director general of the women's Giro d'Italia declared himself honoured that his race would be graced by the presence of the World champion. "[It is] a fundamental presence," said Revolta, "that confirms the prestige of the Giro Donne, currently the most important competition in international women's bike racing."
The Giro begins on July 5, with the evening prologue in the city of Mantova. "I have seen the route and it pleases me," commented Bastianelli, "it is hard and I will do everything I can to do well."