Premondiale Giro Toscana Int. Femminile – Memorial Michela Fanini: Stage 3

16 Sep

Statistics:

Distance: 137km

Time: 4hours

Speed: 35kph

What a day!  As you can see from the profile, today’s stage was epic.  Not only in the length of the stage, but also the final 40km.  Goal for the day: Win!  The race started off pretty active.  There were breaks that would stick for a little bit, but then get caught.  At one point, the race got really hard and things were put into the gutter.  This put the peloton in a single file line due to the crosswind we were experiencing.  I made my way towards the front, knowing I was going to have to attack soon.  Ina attacked and got a small gap with a few others.  Once they were caught, I launched my attack.  A few riders came with me.  We all worked really hard to establish the break.  It looked as if it was going to get away, but it was shut down my a team who already had a rider in the break (??).  Once we were caught, Trixi Worrack attacked.  I didn’t see any HTC riders with her, so I went again.  The girls who were with us, weren’t pulling through and we got caught by the peloton.  This was all happening just before the 2nd climb in the profile (around the 50km mark).  Trixi attacked again, this time taking only my teammate, Charlotte Becker.  The peloton sat up, as riders were getting tired of chasing down attacks.  The two got a solid gap on the remaining peloton.  By this point, the main group was maybe 30riders.  A few riders organized at the front to start chasing the duo.  In the group, we had Ina, Judith, and myself.  Since we had a teammate up the road, we sat in and recovered a bit.  We eventually caught Charlotte.  Since Trixi was out front alone, it was our turn to chase.  Ina and Charlotte took turns drilling it on the front.  For me, I was trying to recover and save energy for the final climbs.  However, I could tell my body was letting me know I had crashed the day before.  I went from feeling pretty good earlier in the race, to struggling holding onto the wheel in front of me.  It could have been that Ina and Charlotte are motors though.  They brought the 2minute 30second gap down to 45seconds by the team we hit the first climb up Volterra.  I was unable to hold the pace, and dropped off the group.  Ina and Judith were together up the road.  My race was all about survival from then on.  The first time up the climb, I was in a bad place.  I had the chills and really struggled to keep pressure on the pedals.  I quickly drank some fluid, hoping it would help for the next time up the climb.  I was dropped from the small group I was with near the top, but caught them on the descent.  I was able to recover some before we went back up the hill we just came down.  I came across the line in 25th place.  Ina was great support for Judith in the main group.  From the sounds of it, Judith attacked a few times before the finish and split the group a bit more.  There was still a select group at the finish line, in which Judith out sprinted to take the win!  Today was another great display of team work.  Tomorrow is a double day, so time to rest and recover!

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