Elena Cecchini became one of the latest young Italian rider to join a more international team this year, joining Lotto-Soudal, and proceeding to animate the races throughout the Spring Classics, then winning a stage at the prestigious Festival Elsy Jacobs. Last year she’d won the Italian National Road Championships, one of the very hardest of the road champs, and in June she became one of a very select set of riders to win twice in a row, which she followed by racing the Giro Rosa for the first time, and coming home with two podium places, and four stitches in her chin. I talked to her about all this and more, including the secrets of her season, and her advice to future first-time riders, and much more. She’s a really interesting rider, with a lot to say, so settle in, and either listen to her talk, or read the transcript below.
(36:57 mins/35.5MB) You can get automated free updates via the iTunes store here or via our RSS feed here.
You’ve just come back from finishing the Giro – how do you feel?
It’s quite nice when you finish a hard race, and you know that it’s all about recovery, so I’m just enjoying some rest days at home. I was missing my family so much, and my cat, and my grandmother and grandfather, so today I did a small training on my bike, just to restart, because next week I will race the BeNe Ladies Tour, and I have to be in form. It’s really strange to go slowly, because we had really fast and furious stages at the Giro, so it’s nice to be home and just wake up in the morning and have nothing to do!
And it was your first ever Giro!
It’s been an incredible week of racing at the Giro Rosa with so many riders from different teams and countries winning stages and tearing up the road. There have been world firsts and there have been all kinds of tactics deployed on the road. It’s everything you could want in a truly Grand Tour, it’s been so good that Sarah even invented a new description! Some riders have been flying, some have cool scars (seriously). And the best is yet to come as we still have several stages that could seriously shake up the GC and potentially change the outcome of the race. Join us as we talk about it all. (1:18:35 MIN / 75.45 MB)
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Things to read and watch:
Sarah’s been collating all the race video and cool social media, blog posts, etc that she can find. She’s also been doing interviews and QandAs with riders. Here’s the full list of all the news there is, stage by stage.
Also, here’s Sarah’s guide on how to follow the race (remember there’s some really exciting stages to come!).
Elena Cecchini is one of the bright crop of young Italian talents, taking a real step up this season. Leaving the Italian teams she joined Lotto-Soudal for 2015, where she’s stormed over the cobbles and through the rains of spring. After top 5 placings in some of the best Classics, and really strong riding in the Road World Cups, she took the Italian Road Championships title for the second year in a row, before starting her first Giro Rosa… and getting her first Giro podium, coming third out of the Stage 3 super-attacking breakaway. I caught up with her for a quick Q&A after the Stage, to find out
You were third in today’s Stage 3 – what happened in the race?
Today was an almost flat race around Mantova, with only 3rd category mountains GPM. We rode to help Carlee [Taylor] to keep the green jersey And we did it. After GPM, there were several attacks, and I managed to be in the right breakaway. We were a super strong breakaway, and got a 5min gap, but from the first moment I knew that we would have arrive at the finish line with a gap of one minute because the General Classification girls didn’t want to give us too much of a gap.
Stage 3 of the 2015 Giro Rosa was one of those perfect women’s cycling days, where the “sprint” stage was taken over by the breakaway. I caught up with Jessie Walker, who’s racing the Giro for the first time, and came 20th, achieving her Giro goal and being best British rider on the stage, for a short Q&A
It’s your first ever Giro – how’s it going?
Well, the prologue was fun, I knew I wouldn’t be up there with this level of riders but I gave it my best. The atmosphere was amazing. I remember warming up on the turbo thinking “I can’t believe I’m here”. Then the first stage was a shock to the system. The heat, the climbs and the speed. Stage 2 I found easier as I knew what to expect. Then Stage 3 I felt even better. So hopefully this will continue.
Hello everyone! This week Sarah and Dan tackle the most intense deconstruction of three paragraphs you’re likely to hear all week. As dull as that sounds, it’s guaranteed to be better than your high school poetry assessment, so there’s that! In racing news, we recap the action from Cholet-Pays de Loire and take a quick look ahead at an exciting weekend of Trofeo Binda and Gent – Wevelgem. Of course, there’s a lot more to the episode than just that, but telling you any more now would defeat the purpose of listening to it, so get excited and press play! (1:10:56 MIN / 68.10 MB)
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Things we talked about this week
Last week’s racing
Full results, and race report on the Wiggle Honda website.