Giro don Italia

Thursday 9th July 2009

by catherine williamson

Day 7 and the legs are knawing.  I’ve not even much energy for any self massage (note self massage, the only professional team with mo massuer, or mechnic come to mention it!)  We’ve been gradually moving down south and think we’re somewhere near Napoli.  If we thought it was hot on day one (35 degrees) its unbearable now.  Even in the mountains today at 2000m it was boiling on the climbs and even though most rides (including myself) were just riding to finish I think I would have died of heat exhaustion if I was ‘racing’!   One of the sprinters (Kirsten Wild for those in the know) offered me some sun tan cream but those tan lines are looking pretty shocking!

The tour hasn’t quite been as expected.  I was looking forward to what used to be a mainly sprinters tour with a lot of flattish stages and mass bunches but everyday theres been some long climbs spliting it all to bits.  I had one good climb a few days ago but lost it on the wet decent, had a few back wheel wobbles  due to an old tub I had on and tip toed down the rest loosing the group I should have finished with but pleased not to crash like so many others.  My team mate cracked a rib and loads others started with bandages on the next day. Rain would be lovely in this heat if it didn’t land on the road!

My best result so far was 18th on a circuit of 4 laps with a 7km climb each lap but not so steep and with a job to stay near the front and cover moves I avoided being spat out.  The finish was one a few flat ones  and it was lined out o the line.  I tried to lead our Russian leader out but crossed the line and she was no where to be seen!  Upps!! Following that day however was my worse and scores pretty high up on the ‘worse days ever’.  Feeling good I again did my job of staying at the front and covering the attacks (work that seems to go un noticed by the end by the team manager).  we then hit a long climb (the profile was uphill from 20km  to 90km, from virtually sea level to 1000m or so).  Again I was up there then puntured.  The car took an age to get through and when it arrived with no mechanic the manager put a wheel in… no one had put any air in the spare wheels.  Eventually I got going with an old training wheel and the car just left me behind the whole race!  I passed a few groups in the determined stage, got in the cars then spat back out.  Eventually I tagged onto a dropped group then ashamed to admit it I joined the Italians game of holding onto the motorbike.  The girls are always doing it, you’d be riding hard in a group and next minute a girl would come flying past having just being dropped off by a bike!  However they are pretty good looking guys and having such a bad day I just thought to heck with it.  Talk about scary, 70kmph, one arm holding onto the bike, the other gripping for dear life on the bars.  The worse bits were going down uneven bits in the roads and through dark tunnels with glasses on!  Still, I moved upto another group and though felt guilty  I was only there because of a mechanical anyway.

3 days left, shame I’m missing the BBQ, Ill be thinking about it as I tuck into yet another bowl of pasta!!

One Response to “Giro don Italia”

  1. Andy Says:

    Hi Catherine, hope you get this when next you find a link. Superb effort in the National by the way, saw you on Eurosport no less, honest 4th, good effort, well done!! Sounds tough over there. Guymer snapped his chain today, no mechanic either, bummer! Keep the blogs coming, they’re excellent.

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