It’s on! The biggest women’s stage race of the year! My report from the prologue is over on Podium Café, but here are the videos and some links I think you’ll like.
It was a crazy good start to the Giro for Rabobank-Liv – look at the results!
1. Annemiek van Vleuten (Ned) Rabobank-Liv, 00:02:26.22
2. Marianne Vos (Ned) Rabobank-Liv, + 00:01
3. Pauline Ferrand-Prévot (Fra) Rabobank-Liv, + 00:05
4. Anna van der Breggen Rabobank-Liv, + 00:07
5. Melissa Hoskins (Aus) ORICA-AIS, + 00:08
6. Roxane Knetemann (Ned) Rabobank-Liv, s.t.
7. Jolien D’Hoore (Bel) Lotto-Belisol, + 00:09
8. Shelley Olds (USA) Alé-Cipollini, + 00:10
9. Ellen van Dijk (Ned) Boels-Dolmans, s.t.
10. Amy Pieters (Ned) Liv-Simano, s.t.
So of course their video is pretty damn happy!
There are some fantastic rider blogs and tweets about this – I recommend Chloe Hosking’s brilliant blog of course, with this:
1km out and 1km back the course was run through the centre of downtown Caserta and on truly horrible roads; the pavé was like Belgian cobbles that had been given growth hormones. Large and lumpy you were thrown from one side to the other and finding a rhythm and maintaining a high power was not easy.
Seeing Annemiek van Vleuten and Marianne Vos pre riding the course was a huge advantage; watching where they breaked, what line they took around the corner and where they picked to ride on the horrible pavé probably helped me save three or more seconds.
and Tiffany Cromwell’s race report on CyclingTips is especially good too
I personally like prologues — they’re a short but intense effort to open the lungs and it’s over before the pain receptors in your legs make it to your brain. It requires immense focus and precision to get it exactly right as the smallest of margins will split the top 10 and beyond. This one however, was potentially challenging for me, being a smaller rider bouncing all over the cobbled street. The key was being able to push the power down and not fight the rough road, suited to the bigger powerful riders.
I probably rode the course five or 10 times before the start, practising different lines and getting a good feeling. With a race so short every little detail can make the difference between first and second. I had one trick up my sleeve that I practised numerous times in my course reconnaissance — I just wasn’t sure I had the balls to do it come the race.
More photos to love, too:
— Leah Flickinger (@leahflickinger) July 5, 2014
Here’s the Wiggle Honda video
And our friend Clara Beard couldn’t be at the race, so she’s sent her parents to interview riders for us