Vicki is off at another stage race, this time in France. Not exactly sure where in France as the Trophée d’Or Féminin is flying under the radar. It is a UCI ranked race (2.2) but there is nothing about it that I can find on the web. NOTHING! It doesn’t seem to have its own web site, cyclingnews.com hasn’t put up results for the first stage (though they might do so yet) and all the references I can find when I google it are either results from previous years or someone’s calendar suggesting that it will be on again this year. At least I know that Vicki is actually racing and not fibbing about working hard whilst she has a fun week slacking off in France.
These updates are probably going to be a bit patchy given the marked lack of information available. Vicki is actually sending me short emails using Peta Mullens‘ blackberry. Peta is one of her friends and team mates – they share a bedroom back in Castronno. Thanks Peta!
Ok, so now to details of the first stage… according to Vicki it was a fairly flat 76km stage which finished with 4 laps of a technical 3.8km circuit. Apparently this tour has a tradition of sprint finishes. Not really Vicki’s cup of tea but she has been steadily improving in them over the year. Rochelle Gilmore is in the Australian team for this race so Vicki will be doing a lot of work for her in the sprints. She’s worked for Rochelle before with good results. This stage was no exception, with Rochelle finishing second to Bronzini after Vicki chased the attempted breaks in the closing kilometers and started the lead-out train. After pulling off Vicki managed to finish with the front bunch… just. Her description of today’s stage was that it was ”the wake up my legs needed after the world cup.”
I have to admit that lately when Vicki says that a ride was fairly flat I have my suspicions. After some of the races she has done in the Alps and Pyrenees her view of what constitutes a climb has become a little warped. Last night’s stage can’t have been totally flat – Vicki is currently sitting second in the Queen of the Mountains (QOM) competition. For the uninitiated, this is a race-within-a-race where points are awarded to the first riders over specified climbs. The number of riders who are awarded points and the amount of points on each climb is determined by its severity. Vicki won the second QOM after Rochelle lead her out. Isn’t team work grand?
Tonight’s Stage 2 is 112km long and “possibly a bit hillier.” Vicki is going to try to take the lead on the QOM competition. I’m guessing her motivation for this is that the leader gets to wear a special jersey… a polka dot jersey! I know how much Vicki likes to wear polka dots!
Note: I’ve since found a few details about the race here: http://www.mairie-cosnesurloire.fr/page.php?ID=386. Now at least I have some idea where Vicki is!