The Giro is over. We are all totally cooked (i.e. very tired). We're back in Lucca for much needed R & R before flying home tomorrow (Tuesday). The house here in Lucca is amazing. It has a huge pool and patio, a great city a mile away, and ridiculously good riding. But, what am I doing? I'm hanging out inside in close proximity to bed and couch. I've had enough sun, heat and sweat in the last 9 days to get me through the next week. The air conditioning, couch and sweatshirt feel amazing. :)
Here's the last sneak peak to a diary entry for a popular Colorado newspaper. If you read Sneak Peak #2 you were especially lucky because it never made it into the newspaper, so not many people got to read it.
Sneak Peak #3
After racing the Giro, I have a new respect for bike racing. I’d always known it was hard and that racing day after day was mentally and physically draining, but the Giro was a different experience. Racing a nine day European stage race opened my eyes to a new world of cycling I had never known.
Every day was a hard fought race from start to finish. It didn’t matter if it was a mountain stage or a flat circuit race, the speeds were high, the temperature was hot and everyone was fighting for a good result.
This type of racing doesn’t happen in the USA for women. The level of fitness and the level of racing is so much higher in Europe than it is in the USA. So, it is always a shock to Americans when they come to Europe for a long, hard stage race.
Unfortunately, as a team, we didn’t have any results to bring home and brag about. Though even if we didn’t get a podium or stage win, each of us had our own personal battles and victories that we can be proud of and take home with us.
The best result for the team was my 16th place in the opening prologue. However, the race turned out to be more about the experience than the results. For me personally, I am happy to have completed such a long, hard stage race. I felt strong and ready to race every day but one and that one day was after a long solo break away in the mountains the day before, so I was ok with that. I now know what kind of fitness is required to be among the best and I have renewed motivation toward my training and my goals. Next time, I want to come to Europe and not just survive, but do well and be amongst the winners.
It is a wonderful feeling to have raced and completed my dream race, the Giro d’Italia Femminile. However next year, I want to come to my dream race and bring home results to brag about.