Inside the Women’s World Tour

The alarm rings. It takes me a good minute to register what it is. The body is aching. I didn’t sleep very well last night as my legs were so sore and tired from the final big training session for the Giro that they wouldn’t stop throbbing. Within seconds of opening my eyes my stomach already tells me it’s time for breakfast. I make my way to the kitchen, thankful no one is around to see my tiny eyes trying to welcome the day in. It’s definitely a double-shot coffee kind of day. It’s been a common occurrence over the last month – I’ve pushed myself harder than ever before – but the Giro is coming and I’m excited to see what the team and I are capable of.

By the time you’re reading this time has accelerated forward and I am over halfway through our Giro. It’s the only Grand Tour we have and it’s the highest level race (UCI Women’s World Tour) we do aside from the World Championships and Olympic Games. A win at a UCI WWT race is a big deal – It’s what we all work towards. All the top riders and all the top teams race the WWT circuit.

A typical day on tour is busy. It can be stressful but also rewarding. Above all we get through these days together, as a team, and I am grateful to be surrounded by such great teammates and staff. Whilst most people just see the race, there is so much that goes on around the race that fills our day up to the brim. To give you an idea a typical day at the Giro for riders looks like:

  • Wake up around 8am – breakfast time and COFFEE
  • Team meeting
  • Travel to the stage start (this year 1-3hours max)
  • Team presentation and sign in, race preparation
  • RACE!
  • At finish of race we try to be as quick as possible – recovery shake, food, get changed and on the road asap.
  • Transfer to the next hotel (anywhere from 10 mins to 5.5hours this year)
  • Arrive, settle into room and have massage
  • Dinner
  • Team meeting to debrief the stage
  • Relax, sleep and get ready to it all again the next day.

Unlike the men, we don’t have any rest days: we race for ten days straight. The ten days this year will be epic. The final stages will rip the legs apart and I have no doubt the strongest rider will win. Let me share one name with you: The Zoncolan. Just the name is enough to give most people nightmares. 10.5kms with an average gradient of 12%.  If your legs don’t come to the party on this stage you could easily lose minutes, yet the thought of it elicits a child-like excitement in me I’m almost embarrassed to admit. I refuse to be scared of it… I see it only as a huge challenge, a stage we will be talking about for years to come. It’s all about perspective and I can’t wait to take on one of the biggest challenges of my cycling career.

Always a team player, it is common to see Amanda sacrificing herself for her teammates.

The 2012 and 2016 Australian road race champion is known for her big heart and big engine. Amanda recorded her first European victory at the Giro del Trentino Alto Adige – Sudtirol in 2015 and has taken a big step up as a leader in the outfit following the retirement on Loes Gunnewijk.