Malcotti Powered Up For Home Tour

Human Powered Health team riders have arrived in Italy for the longest stage race on the Women’s WorldTour, the Giro d’Italia Donne from today, June 30th to July 9th. Prior to the launch of the Tour de France Femmes, the Giro was the most prestigious tour on the calendar. With the 2023 route, ‘Donne’ seeks to reclaim this mantle, with stage profiles that encourage plenty of frenetic and attacking racing.

Starting today in Tuscany with the time trial, the route curves upward through the northwest of Italy via Emilia Romagna, Piemonte and Liguria before a rest day. This is followed by two long closing stages on the Mediterranean island of Sardinia.

The team returns to the race for the first time since 2021 and this time is led by a local, Italian climber Barbara Malcotti.  “I’m feeling great,” the 23-year-old said ahead of her third participation in the race. “It’s time to show up at my home race with this team and thank them for all the opportunities they have given to do different types of races.”

Malcotti recently had a very impressive national championship, finishing fifth and competing throughout in a small breakaway with winner Elisa Longo Borghini, Gaia Realini (both Lidl-Trek), Silvia Persico (UAE Team ADQ) and Marta Cavalli (FDJ – SUEZ).

“Nationals unlocked my brain after a few bad periods,” she says. “I’m more confident about my capacity and it’s easier to believe in myself now.”

Malcotti enters the race in good climbing form, having finished tenth in the Vuelta Ciclista Andalucia and then eleventh in the curtailed CIC-Tour Féminin International des Pyrénées. In the build-up to the Giro, she has been focusing holistically on herself by putting equal effort into training her mind and body. She’s also prioritising nutrition and recovery ahead of a week and a half on the road.

“I did two altitude training camps in Livigno,” she said of her preparation. “Nutrition in this period is essential and I have planned everything with my nutritionist. In January, she fixed some goals with me and made a plan that put me in the best condition every day to train hard for a few days without the risk of injury.”

She supplements this nutritional plan with Thorne, most notably Magnesium Bisglycinate, Amino Complex, Beta Alanine-SR and Multi-Vitamin Elite, three products she likes to take in the morning.

“Thorne are helping us with lots of products to be sure that we don’t get sick, and can recover well on the road during these races where there’s a lot of moving around to hotels before and after stages,” she explained. “In the end, mental preparation is the most important thing. I train my mind to survive through hard efforts with some visualisation and self-talk.”

The climber, forged by her time in the Dolomite range, is also happy to count on the experience of teammate Audrey Cordon-Ragot – who races her eighth Giro – and says that this gives her another confidence boost.

As well as Cordon-Ragot, Malcotti is joined by stage hunter Nina Buijsman, sprinter Daria Pikulik, all-rounders Marit Raaijmakers and Lily Williams , and fellow mountain goat Eri Yonamine – an eclectic lineup of skills that reflects the aggressive nature of the parcours.

“There are lots of different thoughts about the route,” Malcotti explains. “Some people say it’s not super hard but others are saying that it will be. I agree with the ones that say that it will be hard, but I really like the route, particularly stages 2 and 7, with their amazing start and finish locations.”

Giro d’Italia Donne roster
Nina Buijsman – 2nd participation
Audrey Cordon-Ragot – 8th participation
Barbara Malcotti – 3rd participation
Daria Pikulik – Debut
Marit Raaijmakers – 2nd participation
Lily Williams – Debut
Eri Yonamine – 5th participation

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