Before Maria Canins started her cycling career, she was already an accomplished cross-country skier, winning 15 Italian titles in that sport, and was the first Italian to win the Vasaloppet ski marathon (90 km) in Sweden. Starting cycling as a 32-year-old mother, she quickly earned the nickname of the “Flying Housewife.” In the decade in which she competed actively, she won four World Championship medals in the road race (two silver, two bronze) and two in the team time trial (one gold, 1988). Canins won the Grande Boucle twice (1985-86), finishing runner-up to Jeannie Longo at the next three editions, and also won the inaugural Giro Donne, and ten Italian titles on the road (both on the road and in the time trial).
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