Giro Donne Stage 10: San Francesco al Campo (ITT)

12 Jul

The Statistics

Start time: 1:49pm

Distance: 16km

Start Location: San Francesco al Campo, Italy

End Location: San Francesco al Campo, Italy

Race Time: 23minutes 33seconds

Average Speed: 42kph

Altitude Gained: 325feet

The Race

Today’s stage was an individual time trial.  Nothing like finishing a 10-day stage race with one of the toughest disciplines in cycling.  The course was pretty technical.  There were lots of corners, two climbs, a descent, and some bumps.  We pre-rode the course once.  I wish I would have ridden it more.  I was not comfortable with the turns at all, and lost a ton of speed.  It was warm out today, with a slight breeze.  I actually even felt a couple of rain drops while I was on course.  It didn’t amount to anything though.  Since I was sitting 21st in G.C., I started towards the end of the field.  They did a reverse order G.C. start.  I made sure to get in a good warm up.  Wow was that hard.  I think it was harder than the actual race.  My legs felt like solid bricks.  Guess that’s what happens though.  The start ramp was downhill for about 25feet.  Then there was a left hand turn into a gradual uphill narrow alley.  You couldn’t get much speed from the beginning, so it was all out on the uphill slog.  Fortunately, it wasn’t a long hill.  I got into a rhythm pretty fast.  It hurt.  My lungs burned.  My legs were yelling stop.  But I kept pushing.  Finally I started to feel better.  I tried to keep a constant effort throughout the race.  Unfortunately, I didn’t take the corners as fast as I could/should have.  Hindsight is always 20/20 though.  I’m happy with how I rode.  I finished with a time of 23minutes 33seconds, which was good enough for 18th place.  This bumped me up into 19th place in G.C.  I definitely wasn’t riding for G.C., so it was quite a surprise to me.  Normally as a domestique, you lose a lot of time.  Once your job for the day is done, you ride easy the rest of the way in to save for the days to come.  However, since I spent the last two days in break-aways that weren’t caught until the final kilometers, my finishing time bumped me up on G.C.  I still finished 32minutes 26seconds back from Marianne Vos J.  Now I can say I’ve finished the Giro!  Last year I came up only a few kilometers short (I pulled out of the race early due to injuries from a crash the day before).  Overall, it was a successful tour for team HTC Highroad.  Judith finished 3rd in the G.C. to Emma Pooley (2nd) and Marianne Vos (1st).  Ina picked up two stage wins, one being a sprint and the other was today’s time trial (she rocked it!).  We had a good showing today with four riders in the top 10.  The entire tour was very hard and demanding.  The way everyone rode, was amazing.  The battle for the top spots was unreal.  Good times, good memories, lots of lessons learned, some tired legs.  Now I’m off to Limoux, France where I’ll be staying the next three months in between races.  I’ll post updates along the way.  Thanks for joining me throughout the Giro!  Until next time….

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