Reflecting on the 2016 Giro della Donna

by Matt de Neef


The second annual CyclingTips Giro della Donna was held on Sunday and, from where we’re standing, it was an enormous success. We owe all the credit to you: the participants.

Someone said to me yesterday: “Did you give everyone ‘happy pills’ before the start?!” I have to agree that it was a unique experience seeing so many smiles on the road and a lack of testosterone and attitude. There was certainly some friendly competition on the climbs and some ripping times around the course from the hitters at the front. But I’m happy to report there were no crashes we’re aware of and everyone made it around with only shattered legs, not bones.

The first climb of the day, Reefton Spur, was timed and we saw some truly impressive times up there. In the men’s category, Tom Jones was third, completing the 20km climb in 42:55, Ed Green was second with 42:52 and former U23 national champion Andrew Stalder rode the fastest time with 42:43. Interestingly: the top 13 spots on the Reefton Spur Strava segment were set on Sunday, with Stalder taking the new KOM.

In the women’s field, Robyn Selby-Smith took third place with a 51:15, Verita Stewart was second with 49:06 and the winner was Grace Brown from the Holden Women’s Cycling Team who covered the 20km in a very impressive time of 48:56. She also set a new Strava QOM in the process.

If you rode in the event and would like to see your time on the Reefton KOM, you can do so here.

The great pleasure for the CyclingTips team and for myself is to see, in the flesh, all the people who connect with what we do. It’s a rare opportunity for us to ride with many of you and put faces to the names who email us, comment on our articles, and contact us via social media.

I’d like to thank everyone that came out and made the 2016 Giro della Donna such a memorable day. Of course it would never happen 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 extremely generous sponsors: Shimano, Holden, RACV, Winners, Bridge Road Brewery, Sam Miranda Wines, Ride & Seek Tours, FirstBIKE and Skratch Labs.

Our gratitude also goes out to the hundreds of volunteers who helped us out on the day, including our cheer squad from the Warburton Primary School who created a great atmosphere at the summit of Mt. Donna Buang. You can find downloadable photos from the summit here.

Thanks too to our operations partner LimeLight Sports who did the heavy lifting to bring everything together on the day.

Putting together one of these events is never easy but we’re already throwing around ideas about how to make the Giro della Donna bigger and better for 2017. In fact, if you rode with us on Sunday and can’t wait for next year, sign up this week to get your entry for just $120 (more than 30% off!). Just head to the registration page and use the discount code “WECAMEWERODE”.

We hope you’ll join us again in 2017.

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

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