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Laughing through the pain of the Giro

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Em and her escorts.

Em and her escorts.
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More sunflowers.

More sunflowers.
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Nice place to start

Nice place to start
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Nice view.

Nice view.
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Old Italy.

Old Italy.
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Spratty and Em.

Spratty and Em.
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Team and Auzzuro

Team and Auzzuro
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Bella.

Bella.
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Josie.

Josie.
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Close as you get

Close as you get
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Em and her escorts.

Em and her escorts. (Image credit: Jenny Macpherson and friends)
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More sunflowers.

More sunflowers. (Image credit: Jenny Macpherson and friends)
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Nice place to start a race.

Nice place to start a race. (Image credit: Jenny Macpherson and friends)
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Nice view.

Nice view. (Image credit: Jenny Macpherson and friends)
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Old Italy.

Old Italy. (Image credit: Jenny Macpherson and friends)
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Spratty and Em.

Spratty and Em. (Image credit: Jenny Macpherson and friends)
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Team and Auzzuro jersey.

Team and Auzzuro jersey. (Image credit: Jenny Macpherson and friends)
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Bella.

Bella. (Image credit: Jenny Macpherson and friends)
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Josie.

Josie. (Image credit: Jenny Macpherson and friends)
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Close as you get to having a garden in Italy.

Close as you get to having a garden in Italy. (Image credit: Jenny Macpherson and friends)

Italy, June 12, 2006

Ciao Tutti,

Well, we have survived the 17th Giro D'Italia Donne. In ten days from the south to the north of Italy, we experienced some great racing, awesome scenery and plenty of pasta. Instead of the standard 'diary' entry, we thought you might be interested in some of the statistics that our team experienced during the tour instead. Okay, so many of them might seem a little unusual, but we hope you find them as amusing as we did writing them down!

  • Number of: Dogs hit by peloton - 1
  • Dogs probably killed - 1
  • Times nearly hit by 'John' (scary rider from another team) - 10
  • Fisticuffs amongst girls in peloton - 5
  • Arse slaps - 8
  • 'Occhio' (look out) warnings - 150
  • Fastest stage - 43km/hr average speed (stage 9)
  • Hotels stayed at - 6
  • Longest stage - 135km (inc. 5km neutral)
  • Kilometres without water - 130km (due to being dropped in the first 5km of race)
  • Litres of water lost from crying about the above situation - 12
  • Maximum temperature during racing - 38º
  • Days in blue sprinters jersey - 4½
  • Highest maximum heart rate - 202
  • Highest average heart rate - 169 (stage 10)
  • Pastries eaten in one day -10
  • Kilograms of pasta consumed - 500kg
  • Number of suspected males in peloton - 5
  • Total distance raced - 894.2km
  • Times a Spaniard dropped the wheel in front - 16
  • Euro mullets in the peloton - 15
  • Top 10 stage finishes - 2
  • Punctures/wheel changes - 6
  • Crashes - 8
  • Hours spent travelling by car - 30
  • Massages - 70
  • Coffees consumed - 50
  • Loads of washing done - 80
  • Episodes of 'Sex in the City' watched - 35
  • Hours bitching and moaning - too many to calculate
  • GUs and Powerbars eaten - 100
  • Bottles of water/Gatorade in one day - 50
  • Longest leg hair - 8mm
  • Midgets on tour - 2
  • Times asked, "are we there yet" - 20
  • Times granny undies were worn to massages - 15
  • Euros spent during 'warm-up' - 100 (Stage started at Designer Factory Outlet)
  • Percentage of peloton using shopping as pre-race warm-up - 95%
  • Hours spent in knicks - 60
  • Riders that wore knicks to meals - 6
  • Wrong turns taken in straight-line individual time trial - 1
  • Times someone forgot to take underwear to race - 6
  • Head-bobs in a five sec attack by Italian Rider - 9
  • Tattoos in the peloton - 20Mothers in the peloton - 4
  • Days a rider wore woollen gloves and arm-warmers in 36º heat - 10
  • Aussies in the peloton - 12
  • Oldest Rider - 37 (Olga Slyusareva - Colnago-Fenixs)
  • Youngest Rider - 18 (Amanda Spratt - Australia)

So there you go, all the useless information about tour riding that you've always wondered about. Next up is Cento, an Italian one day race on July 15. So until then, we are recovering from what seemed like nine days of motor-pacing (with a 5km ITT), with the usual relaxing Summer activities of shopping, swimming, and BBQs.

Ciao Ciao,
AIS Women's Cycling Team.

PS. Grazie Mille (Thanks very much) to everyone that sent emails and text messages of support and encouragement to all the girls during the tour. it really does help us a great deal to get through each day knowing how interested you are in how we are going.

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The A.I.S. Women's Team is proudly sponsored by: Cyclingnews has been pleased to publish a diary contributed by the members of the Australian Institute of Sport's Women's team as they conduct their European campaign. For 2005, the team had a new lineup, including Amy Gillett, Katie Brown, Jenny Macpherson, Kate Nichols and Alexis Rhodes, who joined existing members Lorian Graham and Louise Yaxley to form a tight crew to take on the world. On Monday, July 18, 2005, everything changed. In the light of the tragic event that took the life of Amy Gillett and put her five team-mates in hospital, the AIS women's road cycling program has been suspended. We believe the fighting spirit these athletes have displayed on the road will extend to their recovery from their injuries and we hope one day to once again bring you their stories in their own words.