Stage 1: Puking on the bike

imageA stage for the sprinters, that’s what it was going to be according to the road book, this first stage of the Giro Rosa. A stage with just a little up and down. But hard… No, not really.

O, Italians!

After seeing the loop we had to do eleven times, we knew better. A true rollercoaster, with a – true – short, but steep climb and a downhill which would even the most experienced rollercoasterdesigners frown, followed by very narrow winding roads through the town before hitting the climb again.

The first lap would be neutralized.

O, Italians!

With an insane pace we rode up the climb; almost everybody died already. My stomach turned around and not much later I puked for the first time. I felt all the power leaving my body.

In the first official lap I could just follow on the climb, but I had to pay for that with another bit of throwing up. The third time up I was definitely dropped. With not even 20k of racing done.

I could literally cry. Not just because of my stomach, which kept emptying itself, but especially because of this aweful start of the Giro.

I found a puke-buddy in my little group of dropped girls, she felt at least as horrible as I did. We kept vomiting on the road, over ourselves and our bikes.

What was happening, we were asking ourselves. The heat? Normally that doesn’t bother me at all. The food in the hotel? We were staying in the same hotel. A combination of things? We couldn’t figure it out, we just concluded we both looked grey in the face of misery and we promised each other to survive this stage and to feel better tomorrow.

Long story short: we got to the finish line. At a snail’s pace, feeling as weak as a wet towel. We tried to drink as much as possible to make sure we wouldn’t get dehydrated. I had to throw away my bottle a couple of times because there was puke all over it – hers or mine, I didn’t know.

After a night of good sleep and proper eating – which fortunately stayed inside of me – I feel much better. Today we really have a flat stage ahead of us. According to the Italians. It’s all fine by me – as long as I don’t have to puke anymore.

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