I was reminded this week, ever so gently, that I don’t often write about the women’s side of bike racing. This is an oversight on my part. There is plenty to report and enjoy from the women’s side.
Now that the men have finished up their tour of Italy, we are about four weeks away from the Giro Donne, or more formally, Giro d’Italia Femminile. They begin in Napoli with an 86-mile ride to Terracina. The race is nine stages through a smaller swath of Italy, and ending in a sprint into Bergamo, smack in the middle of Northern, Italy, after about 1,000 km.
One of the teams bound to make an appearance is the Specialized-Lululemon super team. The team dominated the General Classification of last week’s inaugural Exergy Tour in Idaho. American Evie Stevens took the overall in the new race, but her team dominated throughout.
The team took all of the podium spots of the stage-two time trial in Kuna, Idaho. American Amber Neben took the top step, covering the 10.4-mile course in 21:37. Teammate Evie Stevens was second, 15 seconds back, and Canadian teammate Clara Hughes slotted in third at 20 seconds back.
As a result, and continued hard driving, Specialized-Lululemon took all three podium spots on the GC. With Stevens on top, Neben was on the second step and Hughes ended up third.
Colorado has a tie to the history of the Giro Donne. The only American to win that race is Boulder’s Mara Abbott. This is not some fluke performance for Abbott, who won the Giro in 2010. She has won the Iron Horse Classic from Durango to Silverton on five consecutive occasions, a record for the race. This year, she covered the 47 miles over Coal Bank pass and Molas Pass in 2:44:35. That’s fast for anyone, and certainly faster than I could cover that terrane.
Unfortunately, I do not speak Italian, so I can’t really tell who will ride this year. The Specialized-Lululemon team has the Giro Donne scheduled, however. It should be a great test for the squad as they match up against the best European teams at the most important date on the women’s racing calendar.
I think I’m healed up, but I’m still trying to control myself. Returning to training after an injury is not quite as bad as sickness or starting anew. I still have to ease back in, however, or risk further pain and delays.
I have taken three short rides, one with a small group, none longer than 10 miles. Everything feels good, so far. I am monitoring my clavicle and not really lifting, so far. I’m only doing 10 pushups at a time, but it’s better than missing my biggest ride.
It’s tricky, returning. My gut instinct is to go crazy. Of course, that’s always the case for me, but now that I’ve been out so long and only have a week until Ride the Rockies, the urge is even stronger. I know, however, that a misstep now will ruin the summer. So now it’s slow and steady. If I’m good, I will get two long rides in. One to Rock Cut, and one to Ward, both slowly. It’s the only way I will get to do this ride, and document it for you, the readers.
By the way, I plan to have two new videos up on the Trail-Gazette Facebook page by the time this paper hits newsstands. This is my warm up. I will blog, photograph and post video on my experience on Ride the Rockies, as well as interviews with other Estes Park riders, interviews with interesting random people, demos and information on the towns along the way. Look for these updates on our website and Facebook beginning on June 9.
As always, have fun, be safe. I’m going riding.