Though Mara Abbott ’08 started cycling competitively at Whitman as more of a way to train for swimming – her sport of choice – than as an athletic passion, her two-wheeled endeavor has taken her around the world and made her into an international champion.

A member of the USA National Team, Abbott has won the demanding Giro Donne in Italy, becoming the first American to with the race.

Excerpting from a report by Caley Fretz in the July 11, 2010 posting of VeloNews:

…Abbott grabbed the race by the throat in the 8th stage, taking off in a breakaway with Cérvelo’s climbing star Emma Pooley before dropping the Brit and winning the stage by nearly a minute and a half. The move put Abbott into the overall lead, 19 seconds ahead of Arndt.

The following day Abbott once again proved she was the strongest climber in the race, going away with Pooley for the second day in a row before dropping her in the final 3 kilometers of the Passo del Stelvio. Arndt suffered up the Stelvio and lost 1:43 on the day, extending Abbott’s lead to over two minutes…

Read the full story about Abbott’s victory here.