Lagazzettadellabici's Blog

GIRO DONNE – Stage 8 – and everything changed….

Posted in "Emma Pooley", Giro Donne, Mara Abbott, Pigeons by lagazzettadellabici on July 10, 2010

There’s no video of Stage 8, as the Italian journalists were on strike, so instead I point you to the incredible photography of CJ Farquharson to illustrate this post in your mind’s eye. She’s an Australian photographer who takes all the ebst photos of the women’s racing, and to say I’m jealous as hell is to put it mildly…

So, stage 8 – check out the profile here.  For some reason, the official site draws these in a scale that doesn’t look too scary, but yes, that first climb is around 900m – and that’s just to warm up!  It was a brutal day, and right from the start, team USA were pushing it, wanting to shed as many riders as possible so that their mountain goat extraordinaire, Mara Abbott, could have as much of a chance as possible.  And it worked – on the first climb there were only about 30 riders keeping up, with ridings continually dropping off the back, until it was only Abbott and Cervélo’s Emma Pooley pushing on alone. 

The best way to describe the day is to quote from Team USA rider Alison Starnes’ blog:

The first part of the climb started relatively gradual, and the whole team needed to stay in the group as long as possible to help our climbers. It was brutal. The race started from the gun, and we were off. Up, up, up. At 20k of climbing, you are no longer thinking clearly, and you feel the burning in your legs and lungs as you begin to climb above 2300m. You are surrounded by jagged peaks covered in snow, pine tress, Swiss lodges, and then you look up. It looks like a game of chutes and ladders. Yes. The last part of the climg and its switchbacks. The groans are uttered loudly. Surely we don’t have to go up that!? Yes. Mara takes off, with Pooley on her wheel. Never to be seen again.

We take the fast road along the lake, blink through St. Moritz, then up the second climb, past the gondolas, past the tree line and feel the lack of oxygen. Then back down again, welcomed back into Italy, by another climb. This last climb was the shorter one, and the steeper one. This climb was not my favorite to say the least. It went up through the moon rocks. No trees. No life. No oxygen. Up up up. Before I could calm myself with the jingling cowbells and alpine meadows, but into the abyss of this climb, no life was present. There was nothing to do but grind up the beast. 

 Wow.  Those women are *tough*!

Eventually, even Emma couldn’t keep up with Mara – and Emma is one legendary climber herself – and Mara solo-ed home, pushing, pushing, pushing to gain as much time as possible – according to Cicloweb, who write the best race descriptions, she didn’t even slow down to throw her hands up for the traditional victory salute.

And she needed any extra seconds, because the GC has been blown wide open (at least on paper/computer screen/whatever).

First, Stage 8 results

1. Mara Abbott (USA) Team USA
2. Emma Pooley (GBR) Cervélo, + 1’27”
3. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC, + 1’40”
4. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Valdarno, + 1’40”
5. Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Valdarno, + 1’56”
6. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Cervélo, + 1’56”
7. Marianne Vos (Ned) Netherlands, + 3’22”
8. Edwige Pitel (Fra) SC Michela Fanini, + 3’22”
9. Evgenya Vyotska (Ukr) Valdarno, + 3’22”
10. Amber Neben (USA) Team USA, + 4’00”

Yesterday’s winner, Evelyn Stevens, finished 20th, 14 minutes down – but after yesterday’s monster stage win, that’s to be expected.  Marianne Vos as probably the biggest loser of the stage, losing the maglia rosa – but as you can probaly tell from the fact she was top 5 in all the sprint stages, and won the tough stage full of short, sharp climbs, she’s not a pure climber by any stretch of the imagination, and she worked like ctazy yesterday to counter all the attacks and stay in pink.  Chapeau, Marianne!

So, who takes her maglia rosa?

GC after Stage 8

1. Mara Abbott (USA) Team USA
2. Judith Arndt (Ger) HTC, + 19″
3. Tatiana Guderzo (Ita) Valdarno, + 1’05”
4. Marianne Vos (Ned) Netherlands, + 1’38”
5. Claudia Häusler (Ger) Cervélo, + 1’41”
6. Evgenya Vyotska (Ukr) Valdarno, + 4’49”
7. Amber Neben (USA) Team USA, + 5’41”
8. Emma Pooley (GBR) Cervélo, + 6’22”
9. Tatiana Antoshina (Rus) Valdarno, + 8’57”
10. Evelyn Stevens (USA) HTC, + 13’35”

Now, have a look at the Stage 9 profile and you’ll see how the GC is still very much up for grabs.  Abbott and Pooley are the strongest climers out there – but will Pooley jump, or will she stay to help Claudia?  And what happens if one of them punctures, dehydrates or is just worn out?  The Stelvio is a Pass where riders can gain or lose 2 minutes in a heartbeat.  So exciting!  

For the best preview of Stage 9, check Monty’s at Podium Café – and here’s the video he found of driving up the Stelvio – check out the corners to see exactly how steep it is.  Go girls!  Ride hard!  And next time you see someone talking aout how the TdF riders are “a bunch of girls” or whatever, make sure you tell them from me exactly how tough these women are!


Daniel Lloyd Super PRO!

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on July 10, 2010

Trashcan In Puglia

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on July 9, 2010

Yes that right, Trashcan has buggered off to our home in Puglia again as she is finding playgroup too stressful in this heat and she needs a break from her busy schedule. Here she is in her GUCCI matching swimsuit and suncap on the Nardo beach.

Fabio Close Race Report National Circuit Series

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on July 9, 2010

Fabio is currently 3rd overall in the National Series and on the 18th he will be racing again near London at Hog Hill if anyone would like to come along and support.

Last Saturday I raced at Blackpool along the promenade for the national circuit series. The course was 1.2 miles long and undulating. The youth B race was 12 laps and there were sprints for extra points on lap 9 and lap 5. The race started slowly and there were no threatening attacks. On the sprint lap I just looked around and waited for some one to lead it out. One rider attacked and I got his wheel and got 2nd place which was an additional 3 points. The pace stayed slow until the whistle for the prime when a rider attacked on the hill and me and another rider stayed with him. One rider refused to work as me and the rider who launched the attack drove the pace along. It was the sprint lap and I just put a little spurt in to get the points. We had a gap of about 100 meters and we were still pulling away. 2 of us worked as a team whilst the other rider didn’t work and said he wouldn’t contest the sprint if we did the work so I didn’t mind because he is a good sprinter and probably would of beaten me. We got our heads down and hammered it on the front. When it got to the bell lap there was no cat and mousing and as we got to the home straight I didn’t want to lead out so I sat on his wheel waiting for him to kick. When he did I got past him quickly and I was giving it everything but I blew just before the end and he got past me again on the line. I was still happy because it was my best result in the nationals. I’m currently 3rd overall in the national series so I will gain points on 4th place to secure my position.
Good stuff Fabio, it’s good to see your race reports back on the pages of GAZZETTA. Remember you owe me £20.

A little secret Coppi, Bartali, Magni stash!!!

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on July 9, 2010

Photo of the day…. Emma Pooley Giro Donne by CJ Farquharson

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on July 9, 2010

Emma Pooley (GBR), unlucky yesterday with a puncture put in a great performance to take second place in today’s stage of the Giro Donne.


Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on July 9, 2010

To test out my new bottle design I’ve made a micro batch of ROSSO oil. Just four bottles…….
Buy them whilst you can race fans you legs need some LAMBY LOVE!!!!!

Nalini Francaise Des Jeux Team Gilet only £26.99

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on July 9, 2010

Wiggle has this great deal on these LUSH gilets. Only £26.99 I want one bad.

The SPAZZ IS BACK….. After a little hill based tantrum.

Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on July 9, 2010

My little sister Spazzetta is back. I thought I had got rid of her after the Polka Dot Challenge but apparently she wants to ride her bike again.

Dear Spazzetta fans!
I’ve not posted for a while. My only child (Blackberry Curve 8900) died on the same day as my cycling spirit died. The day of the Polka Dot Challenge 6.6.10. I’m seeing British Cycling’s Psychiatrist Steve Peters about it and I’m on the mend. Basically the Polka Dot was harsh lesson in Hills, I put a new chain on a worn cassette the day before and basically couldn’t use my VERY MUCH NEEDED lowest 4 gears. I admit I cried. I swore some really bad swear words. I lay down at the side of the road somewhere in Buxton and begged Simon Lamb to leave me. He didn’t. If fact he danced up all the hills including a brutal 20% (actually it was 24% marcelle) before the feed station which was no longer manned by the time I got there! (Last on the road!) And then he rode back down them all again to collect me while I cried and told him I hated his guts. He just laughed and said ‘come on you are doing great’ Well if that isn’t real friendship I don’t know what the fuck is.

Here is a picture of my Polka Dot ‘Trophy’ which I can finally bear to look at. I said I’d never ride a fucking bike again. Its all lies of course and ill be at next years polka dot for a rematch.

Marcelle (Spazzetta)

Check out the full chronicles of Spazzetta over at her own grubby little website.


Posted in Uncategorized by lagazzettadellabici on July 9, 2010