Naima Madlen Diesner: Santos Women’s Tour Stage 4 Blog

Peloton Cafe ||United Solutions Group - Santos Women's Tour
Peloton Cafe ||United Solutions Group – Santos Women’s Tour
Stage Four of the Santos Women?s Tour? was a fast paced criterium around Victoria Park. Thousands of spectators came out to watch, and thanks to Orica-AIS?s efforts, the field was split early. Unfortunately, Naima Madlen Diesner was on the back half of that split, but she blogs about it here anyway: Before the start it’s hot and humid. I wouldn’t be surprised if there was rain coming soon. The wind is nasty. Our team tent needs to be secured or it gets blown away. My teamies and I roll onto the course, getting used to the wind and its direction. Feels like there’s headwinds everywhere. The fencing keeps falling onto the course several times. Some spectators volunteer to stabilise it, and make sure it doesn?t fall over during the race. The start line fills up even earlier than the day before. Good positions are highly rated. To keep up the traditions, I’m there fifteen minutes before the start, standing next to Hannah in the first row. The race is set for 60 minutes plus 3 laps. The grand stand is packed with people, cheering and taking pictures. We are about to start. I have to focus on the start. I’m standing on the very left and if I don’t get moving I will get caught by parts of the narrowing fence. Countdown: 5, 4, 3, 2, 1. Go! No entanglement with the fence. The speed is high from the very first second and the headwind shows no mercy. I try to hide in the upper part of the bunch, but it’s not getting any easier. It must be the third lap when everyone starts to line up in single file. No hiding. Speed still up. It’s only a few minutes into the race but I’m already starting to struggle. I fall behind. I try to catch one of the passing wheels, I manage but then I’m losing it again. I hang on for a few more laps. Riding in single file makes the riders spread out on half the course, and I’m pretty sure I’m about to reach the end of it. There is a gap behind me. And then I can’t prevent the gap in front of me and get dropped. I keep on going. After a while there are riders on my wheel. They must have been here for a while and I get a little angry for being all alone working on the front. Finally they take turns too but it doesn’t make a difference. We will not catch up to the group. The race is over.

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