Interview with Edita Pucinskaite - Part 3

Back again to the story of one of the strongest women cyclist ever, Edita Pucinskaite, who during the last interview brought us back to her thriling victory of Tour de France.

Good morning Edita, we left you at year 1998, when against all the predictions you won the Tour, despite the favourite  was Fabiana Luperini. This was only the beginning of a quick escalade, like the world championship the next year…

Yes, we were in Verona, Italy, at that time my new home, and I wanted to win at all costs. The itinerary was quite suitable to my skills, so I was one of the front racers. On the other hand, this made everything a little harder, because you know, when there are zero expectation you have no pressure (but this was certainly not my case). Furthermore, that day was my father’s birthday, and he was waiting for me by the finish line together with all my family, and I didn’t want to let him down. Uphill I left all the others behind, and crossed the line alone. It was amazing, my father jumped over the barriers to hug me!

The Giro d’Italia was all another story, right?
It was a rocky path: after the Tour and the world championship, I wanted to win, but the more I struggled, the more it seemed to slip away. The greatest delusion was in 2003, when I finally get to wear the Maglia Rosa, and outdistanced for two minuter my opponent, Nicole Brandli from Swiss. I already foretasted victory, but the last day I lose the ITT, and she won Giro d’Italia. I was devastated: usually after a defeat I react and go back to work and train harder, but at that time was very difficult to bear with it.

But then your time has come...
Yes, the payback has come in 2006, and right on Brandli! This time she was the Maglia Rosa before the last stage, and then I won the Individual Time Trial, winning the Giro d’Italia. In the history of cycling, the last- stage victory has happened only one time in male category and twice in female. The  year after I won again.

Now let’s talk about a delicate circumstance in all athletes lives, the time you decided to retire.
It happened in 2010, and was actually a serene decision, I was 35 and able to compete for a couple more years, but that was no longer my will. I felt I had to accomplish other things in my life: I wanted children and also to enjoy bicycle, to pedal for fun, without the pressure of the train schedules and the chronometer.

We at Tuscany Ride a Bike told you about the sports path of this great champion, who we’ll meet again in the future, to discuss about the female cycling world, the preparation for a race, and how she’s involved in the agonistic developement of the girls of cycling.