Day 4 – Giro d’Sardinia Camp 2011

Today was the first day of racing after a whirlwind few days of travel and riding in Tuscany. We had a flat, one-direction, 12.5K Individual Time Trial in strong winds. The wind was cross-head for most of the course and then shifted to cross-tail for a bit of the end of the course. I placed 3rd in my age group today (out of 46) and 21st (out of 241) overall with a 16.59. I felt solid but not great, so I’m happy with my placing having a goal of top 5 overall in my age group for the Giro. This was a good start!

The biggest obstacles today were other riders! The start of the ITT overlapped with the only way for riders to enter and exit for warm up and the finish for riders doing the shorter version of the race. After I realized that I was supposed to start (all the instructions are in Italian) I let go of the fence that I was holding on to (you only gained the use of a holder if you brought one) and crossed the timing chip pads. Weaving through the traffic to the first turn, just a hundred meters or so down the road, I turned right into the cross-head wind. For the next 7.3 kilometers the challenges were 4 round-a-bouts, the strong cross-head wind from the left and a few riders who happen to be in a round-a-bout when I came through the same spot.

On the finishing stretch, I was able to pick up the intensity and pace, weaving around riders filling the roadway at one point and then avoiding a woman who had stopped to talk to someone immediately after the finish line. I felt badly that I couldn’t give it full-gas at the very end because I could see the woman and a car that were blocking the roadway right after the finish, but I was happy that I gave it a solid effort.

I was very pleased to find out that I had finished 3rd in my age group and 21st overall. Max was impressed as well.

We went to the awards presentation that night and were unsure of the format. They had a podium with three spots in place so I thought that I might get to use the 3rd spot at some point. I didn’t have any Max Lelli gear with me so I borrowed a hoodie from an Italian teammate but didn’t end up needing it as they only recognized the top three overall finishers for the day in the overall Gran (long) and Medio (medium) races. Age group winners must be recognized just on the final day’s awards ceremony.

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