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The fifth edition of the Giro della Donna was held this past weekend and I’m happy to report that the sun was shining, there was an abundance of smiles, nobody left much in the tank at the top of Donna, and there were no serious injuries (aside from the poor guy who broke his collarbone after hitting a poor wallaby who broke his leg). Those are the metrics I pay attention to, and I’m happy to report the ride was a raging success.
Carlos Sastre, Marianne Vos, Stuart O’Grady, and Moniek Tenniglo were all in town and graciously shared their stories during a wonderful outdoor dinner on Saturday night. They also endured countless selfies throughout the gravel and road events across the weekend. They say “never meet your heroes”, but I haven’t experienced much truth to this saying and these living legends were no exception.
When we conceptualised the Giro della Donna, we did so with the desire to create a festival of cycling. We wanted to take people to one of the most beautiful and challenging routes in Australia, to bring some of the biggest names in cycling to share their stories, and to give people an experience they’ll remember all year until the next edition. I hope that all of you came away with that feeling.
I’m pleased to welcome Michael Hands and Nathan Lorkin, the gentlemen from Corporate Cycling, as the new custodians of the event and I have faith that its future growth is in good hands. How it evolves is yet to be seen, but with $11 million of mountain bike infrastructure being invested near the town of Warburton, the possibilities are endless and it’s an exciting time for the Yarra Valley region.
Thank you to everyone who supported the Giro della Donna by coming out to the Yarra Valley region, and thank you to the sponsors, volunteers and organisers for all of their support. All the smiles and good times would’t be possible without you.
Below are a few photos from the day.