It's finally the morning of the Giro Donne, and right now in Rome, riders are forcing themselves to eat yet more pasta, checking out the road book one more time, and sitting with their legs up, ready for the first stage - cobbles and uphill sprints in the beautiful city of Rome. Monty can tell you more about what they'll be facing today, but I'll here to give you a window into what they're doing!
First up, Emma Johansson from Hitec Products UCK answers some questions, just for us at Podium Café!
What are your hopes for this year's race?
A stagewin would be nice, for the GC we have to wait and see... We take every day step by step!
What are you looking forward to about this year's race?
Everything and everything ;) 10days of racing is always hard but Italy is a beautiful country and I like hard races!
What are your best and worst memories from previous Giros?
Previous time I did the Giro was in 2006 and to be honest I do not remember anything, don't know if THAT is a good or bad thing... Guess it was hard back then and therefore my lack of memories!
What will you be taking with you as your survival kit to help you get through the race?
My iPhone to keep uptodate with everything and everyone!
And is there anything you think Podium Café readers or cyclists racing the Giro for the first time should know about this year's race?
Hmmm... Not what I know of - almost feels like the first time for me too :)
So while riders sit around with their legs up, waiting for the race to start, what do they do? They get onto the internet, and tweet what they're thinking! Right now, they're probably thinking "I hope it stops raining before the stage starts"....
Now, if you're new to following women's cycling, and only follow 1 person, my recommendation would be Aussie cyclist Bridie O'Donnell. Bride wrote some great advice for cyclists riding the Giro Donne for the first time for us, and if this morning's tweet is anything to go by, she'll be providing exactly the kind of race coverage the Café needs:
Day1 @Girodonne Roma: 29º & humid; breakfast buffet at the Midas: 6/10; best outfit award: AA Drink for their tennis skirts #vitalstuffhere
I could give you more tweets right here, but I'm going to go one better - I've put together a list of the twitter and blog addresses of all the Giro Donne riders I could find - and you can follow my handy twitter list, if you don't have time to make one of your own!
Monty and I will be providing daily-ish updates here, with links to any coverage we find - until then, you can check out Monty's race preview, if you want to know what they're facing, who Monty thinks will win, and 6 other riders' thoughts on what the race will hold for them...
Good luck to all the riders! Here's to a safe and exciting race!