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The AIS Women's Team Diary 2003
Welcome to one of our more unusual diaries, with entries from the various members of the Australian Institute of Sport's Women's team as they conduct their European campaign.
With rising stars such as Oenone Wood and established power riders like Olivia Gollan, the team has been making a strong mark on the European scene this season. Under the management and coaching of James Victor that success looks set to continue for the year.
Giro del Casentino - 1.7.2
July 21, 2002
A little taste of Italian tarmac
The race the following day in the small, tax-free republic of San Marino was also a very hard day in the office. Seven laps of a 15 km circuit, with five kilometres of climbing each lap that supposedly saw us climb over 2000m for the day!
We started on the rooftop of a shopping centre, with an amusing neutral zone down the spiral ramp from the car park! The only thing more crazy was trying to find out how to get to the roof top to sign on before we had found the ramp for the cars.
The descent was quite technical, with plenty of girls locking up the rear wheel on some of the sharp corners. I had a little difficulty with one of the sweeping hairpins at the bottom of the descent, which we approached with a fair bit of speed. A rough section on the road made me change my line at a bad time - and given that my rear wheel disappeared from beneath me, my rear brake may have been involved - but I could have sworn I didn't touch it! Either way I got a little taste of Italian tarmac, but got up quickly and back to the bunch which was rolling easily for the start of the third lap.
I attacked the bunch before the next time up the climb, with the hope that if they smashed up there, I might still be with the front group if I had a bit of time on them at the bottom. It gave me a bit of time to get myself together, and a chance to see the top girls moving rather rapidly past on the steepest part of the climb. I was with the second group over the top, with only Sara from the Aussie team able to stay in the front group. We rolled around for a few laps, and then I followed an attack by New Zealand rider Rosalind Reekie-May to get in a bunch of four, just ahead of the second group. Rosalind and I were stronger than the other two on the climb, but I left it too late on the final lap to get a big enough gap before the descent. The other two caught us just before the descent, and I was slightly dismayed I didn't push as hard as I should have on the descent. I finished 14th - not a bad result. Sara finished 9th, Olivia was first in the second group in 15th place, with Hayley and Kym Shirley (Itera) with her.
Zanida Stahurstkaia won, finishing six minutes ahead of Rasa and Nicole Brandli. There were trophies and a large supermarket bag of food from shops within the complex for the top 20 places. All in all, not a bad day out.
Emma's racing exploits in 2002