Lithuanian cyclist Edita Pucinskaite has been given a "career recognition" award at the Festa dello Sport in Montecatini Terme on Sunday, February 20. Pucinskaite received the award in the presence of current and former Italian technical directors Franco Ballerini and Alfredo Martini, who was also celebrating his birthday. "A champion powerful and implacable, she has returned honour to our sport with her personal qualities of courtesy, sensibility and elegant femininity," said Martini. "There remain indelible memories of the yellow parade in Paris and the rainbow jersey in Verona [1999 - ed.]. An extremely positive image for the whole sporting world."
In her acceptance speech, Puncinskaite was very moved. "To be awarded today, in front of these important people is for me a great satisfaction; I am almost incredulous. I think that organisers to have thought of me, above all Ivo Faltoni, and the great Alfredo Martini who has always had sweet words and taken care of me. I want to take this prize also as a recognition for the whole movement of women's cycling, that is slowly growing to find a real place in the international panorama."