Hello again everyone!
Since I last wrote on here a lot has been going on and with some big races coming up, including the Tour de France Femmes avec Zwift, life is busy and exciting.
Sadly over the last couple of months I was hit with a few bouts of illness. After having COVID, I then got sick again just before the Vuelta so sadly had to miss it and take a week completely off the bike. It’s been a bit of a journey but I’m really glad I have recovered well and very happy to be back racing in the bunch.
When I restarted training in mid May, I spent two weeks in Sestieres with my boyfriend Jacopo (Mosca, also a professional cyclist in the men’s WorldTour) working on base rides and endurance, and spent a lot of time in the saddle. Straight after this I went to join my teammates in San Pellegrino for an altitude camp. We spent 17 days together (with Amanda Spratt, Brodie Chapman, Gaia Realini & Shirin van Anrooij) and it was such an enjoyable time. We worked really hard in training (and I was regaining the fitness I had lost) but most of all it was so cool to spend quality time with each other and getting to know each other so much better.
It was a great opportunity for us all to understand each other’s mindsets and psychology, which is so important as we are heading into a busy racing block of Grand Tours and stage races. Life on the road, and right in the middle of the action during a race, is made easier when you can read someone’s body language and knowing how they feel so it was a such a great camp from that point of view. It was also just a stunning place to be, I have always loved the Dolomites and have been there many times, but never with the team so it was a pleasure to experience it with them creating fun memories and a really strong camaraderie. We had lots of laughs too, sharing Italian and Australian jokes and slang – “raining cats and dogs” and “bloody oath” are now part of my vocabulary…!
I then arrived to the start line at Tour de Suisse with some doubts about my shape due to my recovery, however it proved to be a great comeback to racing.
Overall it was a super race. It was particularly well organised, the safety was good and everyone was really warm and welcoming so a lovely race to be back at the sharp end of racing with my teammates.
I was especially pleased with my Individual Time Trial because I did not expect it at all! Everything just clicked into place and it was quite overwhelming to see what I was capable of coming 3rd on the stage. I was also so pleased to be on the podium in the GC (3rd) after a hard final day of racing. I ended up having to really fight to hold my position (rather than challenge for the victory) after letting Reusser ride off the front on the descent near the finish but sometimes it’s better to make mistakes and learn from them. We never stop learning and we understand and analyse these scenarios and take these experiences with us into the next races to work on the big goals ahead of us which I’m really looking forward to.