The Jewish Chronicle

Shapira sparkles in Italy

- BY STAN ROSE

CYCLING ISRAELI road race champion Omer Shapira impressed at the Giro d-Italia Internazio­nale Femminile - the 10-day Women’s World Tour race.

The year’s event was the most challengin­g edition in the event’s 30-year history, with the inclusion of a summit finish on Passo Gavia.

The race, overshadow­ed by the men’s Tour de France, featured 144 athletes from 24 of the world’s leading profession­al teams in the longest and most challengin­g stage race, covering 920 kilometres and climbing over 28,000 metres in northern Italy.

The multi-stage event began with a team time trial, where the time is taken on the leading three riders crossing the line, including Shapira, a member of the multinatio­ns German registered team, Canyon/ SRAM. They were the only team to cover the 18.8km in under

32 minutes. The Canyon/SRAM team conquered the difficult team time trial opening stage in Cazzanno Spinola – Castellani­a – the latter being the home town and 100th anniversar­y of the legendary Fausto Coppi. Shapira also showed great form on stage two, finishing 12 seconds behind the chasing group to finish second. She went on to finish 32 seconds behind the winner on stage three and her time of 2:49:43 moved her into fifth place in the general classifica­tion. Shapira said: “I learned a lot from the Boels Ladies Tour last year. I raced for more than 100km alone in a solo break. It was hard but at the same time it was one of my most special days on the bike.

“In Italy, the peloton let me go so I played the game. For 100km, it was just me dealing with my own thoughts and emotions.

“If I can be courageous and confident again, then I know that one day I will arrive to the finish line all by myself.”

 ??  ?? Omer Shapira
Omer Shapira

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