Britain’s Emma Pooley (Cervelo) won the opening stage of the Giro del Trentino in Italy on Friday.
Pooley attacked breakaway companion Noemi Cantele (HTC-Columbia) on the ascent of the category one Mendola pass mid-way in the 75km stage.
The Cervelo rider then crested the climb with a four minute advantage, and descended to the line with two minutes and 35 seconds advantage over second-placed Alessandra d’Ettorre (Top Girls Fassa Bortolo). Rasa Leleivyte (Safi-Pasta Zara) was third.
“It was a really long climb, 45 km but not really steep,” Pooley said after the win.
“On the climb I went in the lead with Cantele but she didn’t work and was just on my wheel. The first time I attacked, she was able to follow. But with the second attack I was able to drop her.
“I wanted to make the gap as big as possible because I knew that she is good on the downhill and I didn’t want to take to many risks with the Giro d’ Italia in mind. Once again our team is really strong, and any one of my teammates could also be in my position today.
“We will defend the yellow jersey now and try to win this race.”
Pooley goes into the second of three short, punchy stages on Saturday wearing the leader’s jersey. The Giro del Trentino concludes on Sunday, June 20.
Emma Pooley’s 2010 wins
Tour de l’Aude; stage seven
Tour de l’Aude; overall
La Fleche Wallonne Feminine
Grand Prix Suisse (TT)
Grand Prix Elsy Jacobs