Time: 2hour 40minutes
Today’s stage was shortened from 110km to 95km. No complaints here though ;) We started in Lucca, home of the USA National team house. After the longest neutral ever (we did laps around the walled city), we finally were off. A few kilometers later, we were stopped again in traffic. Guess it made since why they shortened the race. We were originally supposed to do a couple of loops around Lucca before heading towards Florence, but the traffic was bad at that time of day so they cut the loops out. Shortly into the race, it started raining. Then it started pouring. It rained so hard I thought it was hailing at times. There were rivers running down the roads, puddles all over. It was miserable. I didn’t take any chances. I found myself near the back of the pack. There was a split in the group, but it eventually came back together. It rained off and on the rest of the day. Sometimes we were on dry pavement, other times we were on some very slick Italian roads. Scary, to say the least! The USA National team controlled most of the race. About 10km from the finish, Charlotte attacked and took two other riders with her. Her attack was about 1km from the start of the final climb. The group tried to react, but the gap was already created and it was clear the break wasn’t coming back. Claudia Hausler attacked on the climb with Megan Guarnier in tow. This caused a reaction from the other G.C. riders, which split the peloton. The final was technical and sketchy. We went on narrow roads with lots of cars, turns, and cobbles. Charlotte sprinted for the win, making it a total of 6 of 7 stage wins here in the tour. Megan Guarnier from the USA National team won the overall G.C. Very impressive!! Today’s race was the last race for HTC-Highroad. It was an honor to be a part of the team. I have learned so much this year from my teammates and staff. Thank you to everyone who has been involved with the team!
Now I’m hanging out in Lucca, Italy for a few days. For those of you who haven’t heard, I am going to World Championships in Copenhagen, Denmark for the road race. In short, I was the first reserve for the squad and was asked to take a spot that had opened up on Friday. I’m super excited to be a part of the team again this year! More updates to come later! Thanks for stopping by!