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Photo: © Shane Goss

Speedy Gilmore: The Rochelle Gilmore Journal 2004

Rochelle Gilmore - super sprinter and scratch race silver medallist at the 2002 world track championships - is a woman full of ambition. After proving her prowess on the track, she's aiming to forge a successful career on the road, and in 2004, she'll riding for Denmark-based Team S.A.T.S. Follow Rochelle as she attempts to rise to the top of the tree in 2004.


Giro della Toscana Internazionale Femminile - 2.9.1, Italy, September 14-19, 2004

Flat chat

Stage One/1st Semitappa: 40.2Km Piazzaal Serchio (Lu) - Careggine

The 'Incredible Hulk'
Photo ©: Rochelle Gilmore & friends
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Well if you started at the back today there is a good chance that you would have finished there! The race was full speed from the gun, ascending slightly for the first 13km the race strung out immediately.

It was a chaotic and sketchy race, naturally causing a lot of gaps. Positioning was definitely the key today and I was fortunate enough to stay positioned well until the final climb, I commenced the final 10km climb with the main front group and quickly started drifting backwards! All I could think about was looking after myself for a flatter stage this afternoon… and of course the need to train more in the hills! Living in Denmark for the past couple of months has definitely not helped my climbing.

The skies were nice to us and kept the rain away, we even had a spot of sunshine!

Nicole Cooke (G.S. Safi Pasta Zara) won today proving her form after winning the T-Mobile International / GP San Francisco classic only 2 days ago!

I just had a quick chat with Nicole to find out how the race unfolded upfront. The bunch dwindled down to 8 on the climb and it was Edita Pucinskaite (S.C. Michela Fanini Record Box) who did all of the attacking on the climb. Nicole and Trixi Worrack (Equipe Nurnberger Versicherung) covered all of the attacks made by Edita. The 8 continued to re-group before the final hill sprint for the line. Svetlana Bubnenkova (Fanini S.D. - P.M.B. Fenix-Mista) led out the sprint, while Nicole sat comfortably waiting to make her move with 150m to go.

Polar Heart Rate Data

  • Distance: 39km
  • Time: 1hr22min
  • Average Speed: 28.6km/hr
  • Average Heart Rate: 184 Bpm
  • Max Heart Rate: 198bpm
  • Average Cadence: 87rpm


Stage One/2nd Semitappa: 98.1Km Careggine (Lu) - Altopascio (Lu)

After this morning's stage, the organization provided a lunch for all the riders and their staff. We ate pasta, bread, and some very interesting seafood pasta before we had about an hour to relax until the start of the second stage of the day. In very typical Italian style, this afternoon's stage started with "organised" chaos. First, no one knew exactly what time the stage was suppose to start. We were told sign in was to be between 14.30 and 15.00 and that the official start would be between 15.00 and 15.30. Second, after sign in we rolled out of town for 17km of descending following slowly behind the com car. There is nothing worse than descending while braking the whole time. Third, once the neutral ride was over we stopped at least 3 times before the officials finally decided where to organize us before firing the official start gun. However, NO ONE knew what was happening because riders were everywhere, the police were trying to drive to the front of the peloton but no one would let them through, officials were trying to organize the peloton but no one was listening, and riders wanted to get their extra clothes to their team cars which were parked in a different area. Organised chaos, Italian style.

Once the race got underway, I kept myself positioned well and was set up perfectly for the first sprint in which I took second. Thinking there were 2 more intermediate sprints, I asked Meredith to help me in the next 2 sprints to gain more points. Meredith did an awesome job leading me out for the second sprint in which I again took second. Unfortunately, I found out this was a time bonus sprint and did not count toward the sprint jersey. However, there was one more intermediate sprint left and Meredith again helped me to take second. I have not yet seen the results to know where I am in the sprint jersey standings.

In the final 25km we did 4 laps of the finishing circuit. There were several small groups that gained time on the peloton but none that became threatening. The bunch was together during the final lap and all the teams were fighting for position to lead out their sprinters. I was sitting 10th wheel rounding the final turn to the finish line and knew there was no way that I would better my position in the last 150 meters so I sat up and watched many riders pass me by. One of the Farm Frites riders (either Mirjam or Angela) won the stage. This I know because I saw a Farm Friters punching the air in victory as she crossed the finish line.

Anita led aggressively into the final corner with Giorgia on her wheel but slightly overlapped on the outside, Giorgia was heading for the gutter while Angela glided through on the inside of the corner 150m from the finish. Angela led to the line followed by Anita and Giorgia.

More tomorrow.

Polar Heart Rate Data

  • Distance: 97km
  • Time: 2hr18min
  • Average Speed: 41.9km/hr
  • Average Heart Rate: 172 Bpm
  • Max Heart Rate: 204bpm
  • Average Cadence: 95rpm