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The Emma James Diary 2002

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Emma and the Cannibal
Photo: © CN/Anthony Tan

Welcome to's newest female diarist, Australian Emma James. Emma's enjoying her first year as a scholarship holder with the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) road cycling team, managed by coach James Victor. She's a gutsy rider who's decided that she'd rather be testing the waters of professional cycling than testing the salinity of the Sydney's waterways as an environmental scientist - which used to be her previous occupation before Emma decided to take the plunge.

GP Carnevale d'Europa - 1.9.2

July 20, 2002

No carnivale on the bike at the Carnevale d'Europa

Hi all,

Shortly after the Giro d'Italia we had two one-day races in Italy, both circuits with the total distance about 100 km. The first was 'Cento': a fairly flat circuit with big prize money on offer, and the following day a very hilly circuit in San Marino: 'Alfa Lum'.

Rochelle Gilmore had won the race in Cento last year, so we were hopeful for a win to take home the first prize of 1,000 Euros! It was a very hot day, 17 laps of a five km circuit with a paved section for about one km through the finishing straight in the main part of the town. There were primes every third lap and two tough sections of the circuit: bridges over a river that provided a good enough ramp for a few attacks to be mounted on.

After one of the primes Sara and Olivia kept the pressure on and got a decent gap on the main field with a few other riders. The following lap the peloton was strung out through the finishing straight and with strong riders attacking to establish a break. I looked to cover one of the stronger riders rather than try to get to the break on my own. Chantal Beltman (AccaDue) soon made a move and I went with her, joining two other riders to form a decent breakaway group. Half a lap later we were joined by a few more strong riders, but the best option for our team to win was with a bunch sprint, so I did not do a great deal in the break, but did everything I could to cover the counter attacks that came when the Aussies pulled back the break.

The race was really tough, held in hot conditions, and I felt like I was on the limit a fair bit during the race. I find I come good from time to time even when I'm pretty smashed, so I kept trying to hold a good position and to help the team. With about three laps to go Hayley got in a break with some strong riders; there would have been about four other Aussies at the front of the peloton when the break went, and the instinct is to sit up, to let your teammate get up the road, and then cover anyone trying to get across. With the 20:20 vision that hindsight allows, it would have been good to get either one or two more Aussies in the break, and I reckon we could have because the break went quite easily because everyone was particularly fatigued at that point.

In the last two laps the break of five riders attacked each other and were split up and then regrouped. The world champion, Rasa, attacked on one of the bridges and got across to the break in the last km, then attacked them - leading out the sprint and wining the race. Rochelle won the bunch kick for 7th place after a good lead out by Liz Tadich.



Emma's racing exploits in 2002

  • July 21 - Giro del Casentino - Italy
  • July 20 - GP Carnevale d'Europa - Italy
  • July 5-14 - Giro d'Italia Femminile - Italy
  • June 21-23 - Giro del Trentino Alto Adige e Sud Tirolo - Italy
  • June 15 - 15th Coppa delle Nazioni - Italy
  • June 1 - 4th Trofeo Riviera della Versilia - Massarossa, Italy
  • May 17-26 - Tour de l'Aude Cycliste Féminin - France
  • May 12 - 3rd Trofeo Guareschi Prodotti Ittici - Parma, Italy
  • May 11 - 16th Giro del Friuli - Fruili, Italy
  • March 10 - World Cup #2 - Hamilton City, New Zealand
  • March 4-6 - Tour de Snowy - Australia (Emma's first big win with the AIS)
  • March 3 - World Cup #1 - Cooma - Thredbo, Australia