Naima Madlen Diesner, a mountain bike rider from Germany riding for Kenda-DMC is riding with Santos Women?s Tour with the United Solutions Group team. She blogs about the first stage here:
Peloton Cafe || 2015 Santos Women’s Tour Stage 1
We’re moving. It’s stage 1 of santos TDU with 60km going from Woodside to Murray Bridge. A nice race to start with, so I was told. The first kilometres are flat to slightly undulating. I move up and back down in the group, catching some of my team mates jerseys further up in the front. I better join them. There is a tight bend early on and the bunch loosens up, allowing me to reposition myself before we head down a hill. There is some harsh breaking going on in the descent. Once my back wheel seems to slide away for a second, but it’s alright. The first climb is hard and I can see my teammates struggling, starting to fall behind. There’s nothing I can do about it. I just have to stay with the group. Eventually the course flattens up, but the group has been split and I can’t see any matching jerseys around. At kilometre 25 I find myself on the back wheel of Georgia Bronzini (two-time world champion). I was so thirsty, but I didn?t want to take my hands off the handlebars or lose any places! Not long after, the surface of the road gets rougher and the ride is getting pretty bumpy. My eyes jump to both my wheels. No puncture. Just the road. The second climb must be near. I’m moving up, but it won’t help me. I’m missing the front group by a few metres. And the next bit is flat, no descent to come back easily! I’m dropped from the group, and I?m waiting for two girls to catch up and we start chasing. I’m not coping too well, the ladies ride strong against the wind. We catch three more girls and we can see the peloton. Everyone’s working hard to get any closer, but I’m working hard to hang in and just not get dropped. Coming into the final kilometres we are crossing the Murray River, and it’s only one more climb to the finish. We catch some more riders, while our little group falls apart. I decide to go, no one follows. More riders appear in front of me, but I can’t reach them. The finish line shows up and I’m happy to have made it, three minutes and eighteen seconds down on the winner. Tomorrow we?ve got a criterium in the city. I expect it?s going to be very fast and aggressive, I hope to position myself well and help our team?s sprinter Michelle to do a strong race!