Stage three of the Santos Women?s Tour was a hilly affair that saw dual world champion Giorgia Bronzini take the win from a small bunch. USG rider Naima Madlen Diesner shares her experience:
Peloton Cafe || 2015 Santos Women’s Tour Stage 3 – Naima Madlen Diesner
I line up in front row with my team mate Hannah, making sure to position well right from the start. We roll out of Tanunda quickly picking up speed. I feel good moving within the bunch during the first undulating kilometres. I move up to the front. Right now we are not going particularly fast. This is when I decide to accelerate and I really end up in the front – on my own. That wasn?t part of the plan! A motorbike is somewhere on the right. I manage to stay here for a little while, then I’m back in the bunch. One of the reasons I?m in the race is to try new things and have some fun, and maybe that?s what you?d call it! It’s going slightly uphill for the next couple of kilometres. It gets faster just before Williamstown. I am unable to keep the wheel and fall behind. I’m in a group of three and we are chasing on the descent, catching up with three more girls. The course flattens out, taking turns is getting harder. I’m struggling. At least I have two of my teammates with me on board. One falls behind. I’m still fighting to stay in the group. At some point the car convoy is passing us. No good. It?s frustrating that we?re so far back, but we keep on chasing. I want to be a part of the race again! Girls catch back up to us, our group gets a little bigger. It even seems like we are about to get back onto the cars. We manage to pass them and the gap to the peloton gets smaller and smaller. We?re shouting to each other ?come on, come on!? Some last efforts and we are back, back in the game. Happy for now. I try to move up in the bunch, but there is hardly any time to recover and we are about to climb again. I look at my watch: the KOM climb up Checker Hill is about to start. The speed picks up, I try to hold onto the wheels in front of me. Not being very successful. The road gets steeper and steeper. In Germany when you?re pedalling slowly they say you?re like a windmill. One of those wooden ones from the middle ages. A few cars overtake me. There are people cheering, friends calling my name. The end must be near, but it is still so very steep. Finally, it eases up. A short steep descent follows. It’s flat again and I am back in a group of about seven ladies, including my team mate Stacey. A spectator is calling “it’s just descending from now on”. I am pretty sure he is wrong. However, the descent is great fun, but picked with numerous little climbs in between. Our group collects a few more riders. At some point I recognise the street. It’s not that much further. The kilometres pass quickly. I can feel everyone is getting a little tense. Last turn. I can see the finish and we are getting faster. Just a few more metres. I manage to move up to the front, leading our group into the finish. Good work girls! The crit tomorrow is seventy minutes. It?s going to be so long! I know the course, and I think I?ve collected some valuable experience over the last couple of days. The whole team has come together really well, which will hopefully make it a bit easier tomorrow!