There was a few points today where I wanted to be a bidon & eject from the bunch #notamountaingoat— Jessie MacLean (@aussiejessmac) July 4, 2013
PdC: Congratulations, you survived the first mountain day! How was it?
Jessie: Well, it was a lot of climbing! I don't know where to begin! There was a bit of rocking back and forth in the car in the foetal position afterwards - "What have I done?'! [laughs]
PdC: Start at the beginning! How were you feeling before the stage started?
Jessie: I was a bit tentative, a little bit worried about it!
It started with a 500m climb, racing for the first GPM. It was really pretty fast for the first 15k, and then didn't back off for the whole race.
PdC: And then the break went out, with Spratty in it
Jessie: Yeah, she was going really well, that was really good. For some reason the USA was sending people off the front of the chase, even though they someone working in the break. Rabobank were setting the pace, and then the break was caught on the descent. Then we hit the climb, and grupetto was called straight away, and we left the climbers to it and suffered up!
PdC: What happens in grupetto? How does it work?
Jessie: So generally a few groups form, so you find your group, and whoever's on the front is setting the pace - if they get a little bit excited, someone will call "piano, chill out!"
Jessie: Well, in our group we had Loes [Gunnewijk] and Giorgia [Bronzini], so we were fine. Giorgia was controlling things. There's always a couple of girls who decide to attack off the front and try to reach the next group, but we just let them get on with it.
PdC: And then pass them again 15 minutes later?
Jessie: Sometimes that happens, and it's pretty funny
PdC: With the cars up the road supporting the GC contenders, how does it work if you're in trouble of need water
Jessie: We're a bit lucky - after the first couple of days Eric came down. He works for AIS, he's a sports scientist and coaches a couple of riders. So we've got three people for feeding, stopping along the road to give us water.
PdC: One of the things I like about the women's peloton is seeing tweets from riders thanking other teams for giving them water and helping them out - does that happen a lot?
Jessie: Yeah, there's a bit of that happening every day. I grabbed a couple of extra bidons and shared them along with anyone who needed them, and another girl grabbed some cokes and we passed them around the group.
PdC: And then, you got to the top... How did that feel?
Jessie: Just a whole lot of relief! Later on it'll be "Hey, that was cool, we climbed 2,000m in 70 kilometres", but at the moment it's "That was really stupid and I'm glad it's over!"
Jessie: It's really good! We're in a pretty good position with two girls up there, and Spratty had a really good day too. It's good having a couple up there, it's cool.
PdC: What are you expecting about tomorrow?
Jessie: Well, I don't think will be as hard as today, touch wood. Less climbing over more of a distance. We go along a valley road for a while. We did most of the last half a couple of weeks ago.
PdC: How different is it when you race it to the recon?
Jessie: Sometimes in the bunch some of the little climbs you might consider climbs when you're riding by yourself, you float over them in the bunch - but sometimes it hurts much more, you didn't realise the gradient when you're riding at your own pace and suddenly you're racing it!
PdC: I've got some questions for you from twitter. Hans Ratgers has a two-part question - starting with... If you had to choose only one of your team-mates to race with, who would it be?
Jessie: To avoid causing fights, I'll say Al Rhodes, because she's retired. She's a good person to have around, very funny.
PdC: And if you could ride in any team other than ORICA, which would it be?
Jessie: Oh! I don't know! The Australian National Team, of course! Either that or lululemon, they have cool clothes!
PdC: Does ORICA have teams you collaborate with, or help out in the bunch?
Jessie: Not really, only if it suits our plans
PdC: And do you have any rivalries with teams, anyone you like to do over if you have the chance?
Jessie: Yeah, I'd be lying if I said we didn't! But I'm sure everyone has someone they'd like to do better than?
PdC: Do you hang out with the other Australians in the bunch, from the other teams?
Jessie: Yeah, a bit, or anybody who speaks English. There was a bit of chat in the grupetto today, not so much for my part [laughs]. Bronzini was chatting a lot, chatting to everybody on the side of the road - she's got more energy than me!
PdC: Did you get to have a look of the scenery, or were you just dying?
Jessie: On the way up I looked up a bit and shook my head, but on the way down I could appreciate it a bit more.
PdC: So with one more climbing stage ahead, is it worse when you've got two climbing stages, or when you've done one and know how hard the next day will be?
Jessie: Definitely worse when you've got two!
PdC: But only one left... next time I talk to you, you'll have finished all the climbing!
Jessie: Yes! I look forward to it!
Follow Jessie through her very funny twitter - and for more ORICA perspectives on the day, read the ORICA-AIS race report and blogs from Tiffany Cromwell and Gracie Elvin. If you have any questions for Jessie or Spratty, ask me in the comments, or on twitter.
Amber's being making video reviews of the stages, and she talks about mountain tactics and her experiences in Giro grupettos. If there's anything you want to ask Amber, ask her on twitter!
There are a lot of very funny riders in the peloton, so one of the best parts of Stage 5 was when the grupetto riders got back to mobile phone coverage, and started describing the day. These are some of my favourites - add yours to the comments!
The Italian word for go vai sounded like die when people shouted.Seemed rather apt I thought when doing the last 14km steep climb #hardday— Sharon Laws (@SharonNLaws) July 4, 2013
Today I found out once more I am not made to climb for 14km with an avg gradient of 9%. OUCH.— Ellen van Dijk (@ellenvdijk) July 4, 2013
My day consisted of brutal climbs and ABBA on the sign-in podium!— Emilia Fahlin (@EmiliaFahlin) July 4, 2013
Some twitter analysis from the new maglia rosa...
I love my teammates, I love the #GiroRosa and I LOVE the mountains. Thank you everyone.— Mara Abbott (@cosunshinemka) July 4, 2013
...and the old one...
OUCH, that was a tough climb to Monte Beigua! Suffered a lot, but today was not my day & lost pink. Well, that's bike racing isn't it?!#giro— Marianne Vos (@marianne_vos) July 4, 2013
And some rider photos of Stage 5 and their hotel views, to make you all feel jealous:
Gisteren een slotklim van 14km, vandaag eentje van 21. We gaan naar Zwitserland! Bijna toch. http://t.co/XJLoFl0pYz— Marijn de Vries (@marijnfietst) July 5, 2013
To follow the peloton through the race on Twitter, I've made a list - put your recommendations in the comments!