Lithuanian Edita Pucinskaite is currently in an altitude training camp in Italy to prepare for the upcoming Olympic Games. Pucinskaite is dreaming of taking out the gold medal in the women's road race, to be held on August 10. Pucinskaite is preparing the event in Beijing on the 2,300-metre high Passo del Foscagno.
The Games are on Pucinskaite's mind a lot. "It is true, the Olympics are the main objective of my entire season. I am relaxed – everything will turn out the best. I came out of the Giro getting better and better. Now I hope that I can rediscover my form from last season."
Pucinskaite finished sixth in the recent Giro d'Italia Femminile.
Pucinskaite hopes that the altitude training will pay off for her. She is sincere about the training and only fears one thing. "The important part is, as always, to stay injury-free."
The road race itself will be an interesting experience. "It will be a special race, with few participants – around 65 – and with little team tactics going on. Fortunately, I have my [trade] team-mate Modesta Vzeniuskaite on my side. She will be of great help to me."
Her objectives are clear. "These are probably my last Olympics Games, my third ones ... It is an opportunity that I don't want to pass up. I will give my maximum to achieve the optimal result."
Pucinskaite is also registered for the time trial. But she isn't 100% sure yet if she will participate. "We will make a final decision after the road race."
The Lithuanian rider was happy with the Giro d'Italia, even though she knew she couldn't contest for the overall victory. "Last winter I had to choose when to peak in the season. First Beijing, then the Worlds in Verona. It certainly would have been nice to get onto the podium, though."
The Lithuanian thought she had the means to do it. "Apart from Luperini, the GC contenders were more or less the same level. One day one rider went stronger, the other day it was another. But I compromised everything on the Passo del Cuvignone [stage 6 - ed.] It was raining during the descent and at the bottom I punctured. At that moment I realised that my Giro, at least for the podium, was over."