Stage 2 started at ‘Ca Tiepolo Porto Tolle’, finishing right outside our hotel after 122kms of racing. For the second day in a row, the team managed front line on the starting tape with our Teschners on show, but I didn’t spend long there before drifting to the back to discuss specifics of my end-of-season holiday with Carlee. The pace was higher, the sprint was quicker, but once again nothing much exciting happened. Sara tried to keep me up the front coming into the sprint, but we got lost in the confusion of the bunch and watched on as Ina Teutenberg took line honours for the second day in a row. I was grateful to spend two nights at our waterfront hotel in ‘Rosolina Mare’. It meant that after racing, I was able to return to my air conditioned room, watch the final 70kms of the Tour de France, and sit on the balcony and paint my toenails.
While Tiff was investing in a blow up toy and a new hairstyle…braids (pictured with Carlee and Nicki below), I was enjoying the first of six servings at dinner. This feast is divided into separate portions. First comes the bread, then salad, then pasta, then vegetables, then meat, and finally dessert. At this particular hotel, dessert was watermelon, and I was devastated on our first night when I missed out on a serving. So when the waitress bought out a platter, I was once again heartbroken when the doping controllers carried the massive serving dish to their own table! All other teams erupted in disgust as us Aussie’s watched on eagerly, so when the controllers were done taking their portions, they kindly bought the remainder our way =) I was full from dinner, and so unbelievably tired that on my way back up to my room, I didn’t even hold the door of the lift for a cripple!
Today we were faced with another 123kms of racing over flat terrain. The stage from ‘S.M. Maddalena Occhiobello’ to ‘Altedo Malalbergo’ went quicker than I expected, with short lived attacks making up the majority of the race. Being in the thick of it meant that after the live coverage of the Tour de France, I was able to get some air time on local television. It was no surprise that a late run at inside suicide had me hit the barriers with 200m to go (somehow I‘m alive), and no miracle that Ina took her third stage win for the tour. So we are closing in on the final hours of day four, and I‘m still extremely tired considering the ease of the kilometres that have come and gone. Tomorrow marks our first day in the hills, and the first real chance for the GC contenders to make their mark. I’m nervous as to how the legs will hold up and it seems that even grupetto is looking like a fair challenge at the moment!
Results: Giro Donne, Stage 2, Road Race, Ca Tiepolo Porto Tolle - Rosalina Mare, 122.7kms
Results: Giro Donne, Stage 3, Road Race, Maddalena Occhiobello - Altedo Malalbergo, 122.8kms
Photo 1 courtesy of WomensCycling.