I am now one week away from the incentive; the reason I started training more intensely – the Giro Della Donna.
Almost three months ago I made the decision to employ a coach and undertake more focused training. And this fondo was my target . Whilst, strictly speaking, it is more of a mass organised ride than it is a race, the Giro Della Donna, last year, was most certainly a race. Places were awarded for the first 100 places, and I was not quite satisfied with 27th. And although this year the organisers have decided not to run the same format, and have opted to instead time the first climb for prizes, I am fairly confident I will again have the opportunity to give it all against some very talented cyclists. I am aiming high for one week’s time – I am determined to finish within the top 10.
The event itself is incredible – about 110km with something like 2500m of climbing, it encompasses some roads that are nothing short of spectacular to ride, especially with a large chunk of it either closed to traffic or managed for the event. The Giro Della Donna is worthy of a stand alone post – I’ll save any more descriptions for another time soon, and will recount more of my experiences from last year.
But what about my form? I’ve spent two weeks on the side line after having a rest week. So three weeks in a fairly sedentary state. Whilst it has been necessary and obviously beneficial to recover fully before spending more time on the bike, I’m definitely a bit disappointed that I couldn’t train until closer to the event, and utilise an effective taper period. All I can do is accept that it is what it is, and the best course is to listen to my coach, recover, and then activate my legs in the coming week. My hope is that I haven’t lost too much fitness.
How do I rate myself? I’m not sure I really can just yet, and that is part of the reason for my desire to go back to ride it again this year. I expect there will be numerous NRS riders, club A-graders and plenty of local hitters. These are cyclists that race frequently at a high level, will be there with a team, and will undoubtedly have ridden considerably more vertical metres than myself in the last three months. In Darwin, the pool of riders is very strong, with several NRS and higher level riders kicking around – but not nearly as many as there are in Melbourne. Not to mention my training has included no real time climbing. Although I am hopeful that the gains in power I have had translate to more uphill speed.
Successful or not, I will at least be satisfied if I manage to rip my own legs off. Couple that with some of the most incredible roads in Victoria, a bunch of awesome mates and finally some time riding uphill, I’m bound to have an excellent day out. And perhaps it will just be another day of training…