Reflecting on the 2021 Giro della Donna

by Andy van Bergen

photography by Henry Yates


The 2021 Giro della Donna was held on the weekend in the town and surrounds of Warburton, nestled high in the Upper Yarra Valley. The weather did its best to leave a mark on the sixth edition of the event with showers in the days beforehand. But, as evidenced by the Cheshire cat-like grins on muddy faces following Saturday’s 57 km Gravel Giro ride, and the chatter from the grupetto on Sunday’s 125 km Giro della Donna road ride, all the additional precipitation did in the lead-up was keep the dust down, and make the temperate rainforest setting sing.

In previous editions of the GdD we had the pleasure of riding alongside the legendary Marianne Vos (apparently she had other things happening this weekend!), Alberto Contador, Stuart O’Grady, and Moniek Tenniglo. For 2021 the event was joined by Simon Gerrans. Simon was extremely generous with his time and wonderfully approachable – even after a million selfies.

“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.”

CyclingTips and Giro della Donna founder Wade Wallace

Thank you to all of our CT readers who supported the Giro della Donna by coming out to the Yarra Valley region, and thank you to the volunteers and organisers for all of their hard work. The smiles and good times wouldn’t be possible without you.

A list of all the finishing times from the Gravel Giro and Giro della Donna road ride can be seen via this link. Here is a list of the fastest riders from the weekend. Note that the times listed for the 127 km event are the total time taken to complete the three timed sectors, not for the whole ride:

Giro della Donna (127 km) – female

1. Justine Barrow (2:08:53)
2. Laura Luxford (2:09:09)
3. Alana Forster (2:18:43)

Giro della Donna (127 km) – male

1. Mark O’Brien (1:52:10)
2. Jack Aitkin (1:53:11)
3. Lionel Mawditt (1:57:15)

Gravel Giro (57 km) – female

1. Justine Barrow (2:22:13)
2. Peta Mullens (2:24:32)
3. Tilly Field (2:34:07)

Gravel Giro (57 km) – male

1. Fergus Browning (2:01:52)
2. Jack Aitkin (2:01:53)
3. Nicholas Bell (2:01:54)

Photos from the 57 km Gravel Giro

Photos from the 125 km Giro della Donna

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