Reflecting on the inaugural CyclingTips Giro della Donna

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The first ever Giro della Donna was held yesterday under sunny skies and attended by a thousand smiling faces. It was a massive buzz for the team and I to show that CyclingTips is more than a website, and to have the opportunity to ride bikes with many of our loyal readers.

I was fortunate enough to have an outstanding team working behind the scenes so I could ride and experience the event myself. It was a great honour to see everyone there having fun and to see so many people well and truly shattered by the finish. We definitely earned that beer afterwards.

Disappointingly we had three riders crash and end up in hospital (three too many) but I’m glad to report that nobody was seriously injured. I wish the riders involved a quick recovery. I’d like to thank Dr Ryan McMullan who stopped to help out at the crash scene near Marysville and took control of the situation. Thanks too to Ella consulting editor Simone Giuliani who stuck around and offered her assistance.

At the pointy end of the field we had some gun riders contesting line honours and I’d like to congratulate Lucas Hamilton (1st), Andrew Stalder (2nd) and Rowan Dever (3rd) in the men’s field and Lisen Hockings (1st), Kendelle Hodges (2nd) and Ella editor Anne-Marije Rook (3rd) in the women’s field.

Congratulations also to Charles Howett for being the first Mo across the line, Jason Toomey from Singapore for being the best-dressed rider and to the gutsiest rider of the bunch, Belinda Giles, who stuck it out for seven hours to claim the Maglia Nera (the black jersey awarded by Castelli to the final rider across the line).

We don’t want to promote this event as a race nor do we plan it to evolve into one, but it’s always impressive to see the riders at the pointy end giving it a good nudge and those efforts should be celebrated! More than anyone, the Maglia Nera did it the toughest of everyone and that deserves a massive amount of respect.

I’d like to thank everyone that came out and was part of our first ever Giro della Donna. It would never have gotten off the ground without the support of the town of Warburton (and the local trader’s association, CEDA), the Yarra Ranges Shire Council, Yarra Ranges Tourism and our generous sponsors: Shimano, Specialized, Skratch Labs/Bonk Breaker, Castelli, BBB, Movember, Jaguar and The Sufferfest.

And let’s not forget the volunteers — we couldn’t have done it without their hard work — and our operations partner Limelight Sports. They’re the ones who wrapped it all together.

The challenge with many of these events is getting to year two and I can confidently say that the Giro della Donna will be back in November 2016. We hope you can join us!

Did you take part in yesterday’s Giro della Donna? How did you find the experience? What did you enjoy? What would you have changed?

For those of you that took part in the event, you can find and purchase photos of yourself here.

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