Naima Madlen Diesner: Santos Women?s Tour Stage 2 Blog

Peloton Cafe ||United Solutions Group - Santos Women's Tour
Peloton Cafe ||United Solutions Group – Santos Women’s Tour
Melissa HOSKINS won stage two of the Santos Women?s Tour in a fast down-town criterium. United Solutions Group rider Naima Madlen Diesner blogs about it here: I am really anxious about this one, I know that the big teams would try to set a high pace and maybe try and split up the groups like they did yesterday. It?s going to be really important to stay up near the front and be there at the right time today. It?s a big field with lots of riders, on a narrow course, and I know it?s going to be hard. We line up on the road, following the chief commissaries? car to get on the course for a neutralised lap. It’s going to be a fast race: a winding part at the beginning, leading into a straight passage to pick up some speed until the headwind tries to slow you down. Around the next corner the pace is on and you?ve got to go hard and then it?s one more corner back onto the finishing straight. The streets are packed with people on either side of the course and they make so much noise. I hear someone call my name, but I?m focussing on the wheel in front of me. It gets faster, the race is on. 14 laps. There’s nowhere to recover, even on the flatter and faster bits I need to work hard, keep the wheel and try to move further up. I can spot two teammates not far ahead of me – Good work girls, I’m on my way to you! Its the long corner at the end of the lap where I manage to move up. Seven more laps to go. Or seven done? Right now I’m too busy to think about it. A rider on my left is not keeping her line, almost causing a crash. I have to slow down while passing her, and make sure I stay in front of her for the rest of the race. It’s four more laps to go and I really want to finish this. My legs burn, so do my lungs. I hold on to my position, try to move up and catch up to my team mates. Three more laps to go. Two more. The speed goes up again, riders overtake me. Just one more lap and I try to focus on keeping the wheel in front of me while staying alert for some possibly silly finish sprint actions. I haven’t seen my teamie Michelle, I just wish she is on my wheel so I can help her doing a nice little final sprint. There are riders blocking my way, I can’t get past them. But it doesn’t matter too much, so I’m not pushing for it. I’m reaching the finish line in the bunch. I’m out of breath and my legs hurt, but I’m all happy. Tomorrow is going to be a challenging course, with lots of climbs, and lots of descents to go with them. The peloton is likely to split up early, and split into lots of different groups. I?m going to try and stay up near the front for as long as I can! ?  

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