Brekkie routines, air con wars and survival mode: Lizzie Williams’ stage two Giro Rosa diary

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Australian cyclist Lizzie Williams is racing the Giro Rosa, the longest (and only) Grand Tour on the women’s calendar, for the first time this year. And to give you a-behind-the-scenes look at what it’s like to race at the highest level and at one of the most prestigious races in women’s cycling, Lizzie graciously agreed to do daily check-ins for the next 10 days of racing -no matter what might happen.

Read all her diary entries here.

Also be sure to check out Tiffany Cromwell’s diary as she is racing and writing about her eighth Giro.

Word of the day: Epic!

Result of the day: 49th. Rachel Neylan was the best Orica-AIS finisher today, coming in 10th place. Rachel is also our best-placed overall, sitting in 21st place, 2:07 behind maglia rosa Megan Guarnier. Read more about the race in the Ella race report.

You know it’s going to be a rough day when things start going south at breakfast.

I have a set breakfast routine. Ask anyone in my team: “What does Lizzie have for breakfast?” and most would comment on my little red container. I’ve tried to mix things up with brekkie but I always go back to my old faithful- homemade muesli soaked in water/milk left over night in the fridge with added fruit and yoghurt the next day.

It’s a simple process: In the morning, I chop up my fruit and then add yoghurt to muesli mix. Things went south for me this morning when I realised I had left my container in the freezer. It was rock hard! But I was determined.

I proceeded to break it up with my porcelain knife that I take on tour with me to cut my fruit. This was an epic fail as the tip of my knife broke off and into my muesli. By this time, the whole table was laughing at me, and I was 20 minutes into breakfast and had not eaten a thing.

So today, I had an omelet on toast.

The racing:

Today felt like I was riding in a sauna. Sitting at the startline, we poured bottles of water over our heads. Just a cool 37 degrees.

The stage began with three laps of a technical circuit of approximately 20 kilometres. It started like a 45-minute-criterium and never really let up.

There were three sprints with time bonuses up for grabs so the argy-bargy from yesterday continued.

Because of the heat, my hands kept slipping from the hoods from all the sweat. At some stage on the circuit, I didn’t see a pot hole and both hands slipped from my handle bars and my chest was steering my bike! I somehow managed to pull my body up and grab my bars. Phew! That was a VERY close call.

The race really lit up with about 40 kilometres to go on the second climb of the day. I popped off the lead group at this point. My whole body had goosebumps, I wasn’t coping with the heat, and the remainder of the race was spent merely ‘surviving’ and getting to the finish.

But why not top my day off with a crash into the barriers on the final decent? Yay for me!

Today was an epic day for everyone. From our top-finisher Rachel Neylan, who had a great race, to our youngster Macey Stewart, who rode like a little trooper even after donning a puncture in the last 10 kilometres and had to ‘rim it’ all the way to the finish.

Bring on a new day!

Funny aside: Air conditioner Wars

Half of the team hates aircon, the other half needs it! Room a non-aircon rider with a aircon rider and shit hits the fan (especially in this heat).

We’ll be checking in with Lizzie again tomorrow after stage two. In the meantime, there’s lots more Giro Rosa content for you to enjoy on Ella!

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