Giro Donne 2011 has come and gone. My goal for this year’s Giro was a top 10 finish overall. I finished 13th, 4 minutes 30 seconds down on 10th position.
This year’s Giro route was very different from last year in that we started climbing from stage 1. This meant that the general classification was formed very early on in the tour.
Stage 3 was particularly tough. It was up, down, up, down all day. I was having a great stage. I felt completely in control, taking the first two mountain sprints, until on route to claim the third mountain sprint, I got taken down in a crash.
It took me some time to get going again and although my teammates Cherise Taylor and Joanna van de Winkel gave their best to get me back to the front split, it was not to be. The crash cost me 6 minutes on the general classification. I lost valuable time, at a very critical stage in the tour. This knocked me out of top ten contention.
Marianne Vos took the pink jersey on stage 3 and she kept it till the very end. I tried my best to make up time where ever I could to improve my position overall. I managed to improve my position from 27th after my crash to 13th overall on general classification.
I did not achieve my goal, but I gave my best and I learnt many lessons. I have come a long way since last year’s Giro in terms of confidence and skills. I will use the lessons I learnt from this year’s Giro to grow as a GC rider and I look forward to coming back stronger and better prepared for Giro Donne 2012.