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Pucinskaite storms to Giro lead

Edita Puckinskaite (Nürnberger)

Edita Puckinskaite (Nürnberger) (Image credit: CJ Farquharson)

Lithuanian time trial champion Edita Pucinskaite took over the lead in the women's Giro d'Italia on Monday, taking out the 10.2 kilometre mountain time trial by a fraction of a second over Spaniard Maribel Moreno and riding herself into the pink jersey ahead of her countrywoman Diana Ziliuite. Pucinskaite rocketed up the climb to Prato a Calci, an average 7% grade with sections that kicked up to 10%, in just over 30 minutes, smashing the time Ziliuite. Pucinskaite's directeur sportif, Jens Zemke, was elated. "That was a sensational mountain time trial from Edita," he said after the stage.

Zemke was in the team car with Pucinskaite's husband Roberto Rossi, and glowed about the team's performance. "We already have won two stages. Everybody is having a lot of fun and will do everything to defend the pink jersey in the remaining five stages. We will look day to day."

Starting the race with just five riders because of illnesses, team Nürnberger is having plenty of success in Italy. "The women are all motivated," said Zemke, "even though our head count is lower than our competitors."

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