Cyclingnews TV   News  Tech   Features   Road   MTB   BMX   Cyclo-cross   Track    Photos    Fitness    Letters   Search   Forum  

The A.I.S. Women's Team is proudly sponsored by:

The AIS Women's Team Diary 2006

Click for larger image
The 2006 AIS women's squad in Italy
Photo: © AIS

Cyclingnews has been pleased to publish a diary contributed by the members of the Australian Institute of Sport's Women's team as they conduct their European campaign. On Monday, July 18, 2005, everything changed. In the light of the tragic event that took the life of Amy Gillett and put her five team-mates in hospital, the AIS women's road cycling programme was suspended.

But this year the AIS women are back. While surviving members of last year's team - Louise Yaxley, Katie Brown and Lorian Graham recover from injuries sustained in the accident last July, another generation of young women will endeavour to make a mark on the international stage.

Alexis Rhodes makes a return to racing following her remarkable recovery from life-threatening injuries sustained in last July's crash, being joined by Amanda Spratt, Hannah Banks, Candice Sullivan, Jenny Macpherson and Sally Cowman as they fly the Aussie flag in Europe.

Also see: Index to 2005 race reports and entries

Italy, June 12, 2006

Laughing through the pain of the Giro

Em and her escorts.
(Click for larger image)
More sunflowers.
(Click for larger image)
Nice place to start
(Click for larger image)
Nice view.
(Click for larger image)
Old Italy.
(Click for larger image)
Spratty and Em.
(Click for larger image)
Team and Auzzuro
(Click for larger image)
(Click for larger image)
(Click for larger image)
Close as you get
(Click for larger image)

By Jenny Macpherson

Ciao Tutti,

Well, we have survived the 17th Giro D'Italia Donne. In ten days from the south to the north of Italy, we experienced some great racing, awesome scenery and plenty of pasta. Instead of the standard 'diary' entry, we thought you might be interested in some of the statistics that our team experienced during the tour instead. Okay, so many of them might seem a little unusual, but we hope you find them as amusing as we did writing them down!

  • Number of: Dogs hit by peloton - 1
  • Dogs probably killed - 1
  • Times nearly hit by 'John' (scary rider from another team) - 10
  • Fisticuffs amongst girls in peloton - 5
  • Arse slaps - 8
  • 'Occhio' (look out) warnings - 150
  • Fastest stage - 43km/hr average speed (stage 9)
  • Hotels stayed at - 6
  • Longest stage - 135km (inc. 5km neutral)
  • Kilometres without water - 130km (due to being dropped in the first 5km of race)
  • Litres of water lost from crying about the above situation - 12
  • Maximum temperature during racing - 38º
  • Days in blue sprinters jersey - 4½
  • Highest maximum heart rate - 202
  • Highest average heart rate - 169 (stage 10)
  • Pastries eaten in one day -10
  • Kilograms of pasta consumed - 500kg
  • Number of suspected males in peloton - 5
  • Total distance raced - 894.2km
  • Times a Spaniard dropped the wheel in front - 16
  • Euro mullets in the peloton - 15
  • Top 10 stage finishes - 2
  • Punctures/wheel changes - 6
  • Crashes - 8
  • Hours spent travelling by car - 30
  • Massages - 70
  • Coffees consumed - 50
  • Loads of washing done - 80
  • Episodes of 'Sex in the City' watched - 35
  • Hours bitching and moaning - too many to calculate
  • GUs and Powerbars eaten - 100
  • Bottles of water/Gatorade in one day - 50
  • Longest leg hair - 8mm
  • Midgets on tour - 2
  • Times asked, "are we there yet" - 20
  • Times granny undies were worn to massages - 15
  • Euros spent during 'warm-up' - 100 (Stage started at Designer Factory Outlet)
  • Percentage of peloton using shopping as pre-race warm-up - 95%
  • Hours spent in knicks - 60
  • Riders that wore knicks to meals - 6
  • Wrong turns taken in straight-line individual time trial - 1
  • Times someone forgot to take underwear to race - 6
  • Head-bobs in a five sec attack by Italian Rider - 9
  • Tattoos in the peloton - 20Mothers in the peloton - 4
  • Days a rider wore woollen gloves and arm-warmers in 36º heat - 10
  • Aussies in the peloton - 12
  • Oldest Rider - 37 (Olga Slyusareva - Colnago-Fenixs)
  • Youngest Rider - 18 (Amanda Spratt - Australia)

So there you go, all the useless information about tour riding that you've always wondered about. Next up is Cento, an Italian one day race on July 15. So until then, we are recovering from what seemed like nine days of motor-pacing (with a 5km ITT), with the usual relaxing Summer activities of shopping, swimming, and BBQs.

Ciao Ciao,
AIS Women's Cycling Team.

PS. Grazie Mille (Thanks very much) to everyone that sent emails and text messages of support and encouragement to all the girls during the tour. it really does help us a great deal to get through each day knowing how interested you are in how we are going.


For a thumbnail gallery of these images, click here

Images by Jenny Macpherson and friends