Just a few days since the men's Giro d'Italia ended, and past winners Fabiana Luperini and Edita Pucinskaite are among those looking forward to the start of the Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile, also called the Giro Donne or women's Giro, on July 3 in Tuscany. Organizer Giuseppe Rivolta has prepared an exciting course for what will be the 20th edition of the race. Luperini won the race in 1995, 1996, 1997, 1998 and 2008.
"This year will be very difficult," said Luperini. "I think the competition will be tough. Last year, I had great form, and not all years are equal. The race will be longer and the outcome more open." She will be preparing by racing the Giro del Trentino and the Italian Championship.
Luperini shared some of her favorite memories of the race, which she had done many times. "I remember well the 1996 edition, when I won five stages and the race in 10 days. It's still the record for total number of victories in the race."
Looking even further back, she said, "But how could I forget 1995? I was so young, and it was the first time I found myself on the international stage. I remember every moment of the Pianezze stage. What endless joy!"
Pucinskaite recalled her own experiences which include two overall wins. "To get the pink jersey: this was my goal which I pursued for many years. It was an obsession, a goal fixed in my mind. After an unexpected yellow jersey in the Tour de France and a rainbow jersey after that, all the rest of my career ambitions were colored pink!"
"But after difficult times and years, probably to make me appreciate it that much more, I got the best gift in 2006. It was a sea of emotions, ranging from disbelief to joy, indescribable joy and relief, too. I won in 2007, too. The Giro leaves a person with the feeling of having done something unforgettable."
The race will run from July 3 to 12.