Women's news shorts: Ferrand-Prévot to race Giro Rosa, organizers announce 19 teams

Armitstead focused on British championships after Women's Tour crash, Amy D. Racing seeks 2015-16 candidate

Ferrand-Prévot to race Giro Rosa; organizers announce 19 teams

World champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot will return to the 2015 Giro d'Italia Internazionale Femminile set to start on July 3 in Ljubljana, Slovenia, according to press release from the organizers of the race. The Rabo-Liv rider has struggled with a sciatic injury since the end of May, which caused her to pull out of the mountain bike World Cup in Albstadt.

Ferrand-Prévot will lead her Rabo-Liv team at the 26th annual event alongside 18 other teams, race organizers confirmed on Wednesday. Also on the start line will be current World Cup series leader Lizzie Armitstead (Boels-Dolmans), Valentina Scandolara (Orica-AIS), Annemiek Van Vleuten (Bigla), Elena Cecchini (Lotto Soudal Ladies).

The remaining teams include Liv-Plantur, Wiggle-Honda, Velcio-SRAM, BTC City Ljubljana, Astana-Acca Due O, Alè-Cipollini, Servetto-Footon, BePink-LaClassica, Tre Colli-Forno d'Asolo, Top Girls-Fassa Bortolo, Michela Fanini-Rox, Aromitalia-Vaiano-Fondriest, Inpa Sottoli-Giusfredi-Bianchi and Nazionale Messicana.

Last year, Rabo-Liv took the top three spots in the overall classification with Marianne Vos, Ferrand-Prévot and Anna van der Breggen. American rider Mara Abbott (Wiggle-Honda) was fourth.

World champion Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Rabo Liv)

Armitstead shifts focus to British road championships after Aviva Women's Tour crash

Boels Dolmans rider Lizzie Armitstead will not start the second stage of the Aviva Women's Tour following a crash at the stage 1 finish line, that happened just after she had won the race and took the leader's jersey. She confirmed on Twitter that she has chosen to instead recover from the accident with the hope of having a strong performance at the British road championships held on June 28 in Lincolnshire. 

Following the crash, Armitstead was taken to the Norwich University Hospital and then later released with no life-threatening injuries or fractures.

"I remember winning with the help of my team mates and then not much else, but I am ok, nothing broken just very sore, thank you for kind messages and to the NHS staff who took care of me so well. I won't start tomorrow in the hope of recovering properly for the Nationals," she posted on Twitter.

Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans)

Tagliaferro misses out on Aviva Women's Tour opening win

Alé-Cipollini’s Marta Tagliaferro narrowly missed out of the stage 1 victory at the Aviva Women’s Tour when she was caught by the peloton with less than 300 metres to the finish line in Aldeburgh on Wednesday.

The Italian was a part of the day’s breakaway with UnitedHealthcare teammates Coryn Rivera and Katie Hall, Elinor Barker (Matrix Pro Cycling) and Heather Fischer (USA). They gained roughly 2:45 minutes on the field but a sprint-hungry peloton reeled them back in just shy of the finish line.

Tagliaferro hung on for 19th place and ended up in third overall, five seconds behind stage winner Lizzie Armitstead (Boels Dolmans) and one second behind runner-up Lisa Brennauer (Velocio-SRAM).

Armitstead, who was involved in a crash after crossing the finish line, will not start the second stage on Thursday in Braintree.

Director Fortunato Lacquaniti said in a team press release, “Pity! I was hoping in Marta’s victory. I am very satisfied anyway about all the girls’ results: the race was really difficult, with its tight trails, and all the best were competing.

“We shined: we were part of escapes with Malgorzata Jasinska, and protagonists with Marta Tagliaferro, who was really close to the victory and Simona Frapporti’s fourth place. This was possible thanks to all the girls’ job who may not have been in the first line, but they did a very good job”

Amy D. Racing program seeking next cyclo-cross candidate for 2015-16 season

The Amy D. Foundation announced on Wednesday that it will continue the Amy D. Racing program for cyclo-cross and award one woman with a sponsored ride for the 2015-16 season. The foundation is encouraging candidates age 18 and over to apply before the June 22 deadline.

The recipient will race for one full USA Cycling Professional Cyclo-cross Calendar season, while travelling and receiving guidance from Raleigh Clement Professional Cyclo-cross Team. The program's sponsors include Clement Cycling, Raleigh Bicycles, Lazer Sport, TRP Brakes, K-EDGE, and BikeFlights.

The Amy D. Foundation was started by Dan Dombroski in response to the tragic passing of his sister and professional cyclist, Amy, who was involved in a training accident in October of 2013. He launched Amy D. Racing for the 2014-15 cyclo-cross season, with Erica Zaveta as the program’s first beneficiary. She went on to compete in 25 Pro CX events and the Pan American Continental Cyclo-cross Championships.

“Like everything we try to push forward through the Amy D. Foundation, this ‘cross program is about a holistic approach to building equality and opportunity for women in the sport,” Dan Dombroski said. “We constantly look to Amy's passion, drive, and perspective as a guiding light.”

“The Amy D. Racing program offers a huge opportunity to the selected rider and it brings awareness to women’s racing,” Zaveta said. “There are a lot of good riders looking for support, and in the end there are just not enough teams to go around.”

The Amy D. Foundation will announce the new recipient on July 6.

Erica Zaveta (Amy D Racing) finishing off a set of stairs

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