In Her Own Words: Jessie MacLean on Toscana Stage 4Mon 3 Sep 2012
The final stage of the Giro della Toscana ended in a bunch sprint won by Giorgia Bronzini (Diadora Pasta Zara), who took control of the neutralized stage during the final ten kilometers of racing. The anti-climatic stage four finish saw the peloton taken off course and restarted multiple times before the field elected to neutralize the stage. Tiffany Cromwell finished the Italian Tour in eighth overall. Jessie MacLean, one of the two ORICA-AIS riders to make it to Florence, details the day.
The race today was….interesting. It was somewhat aggressive until about the mid-point with the US National Team doing a few attacks on the mostly flat but very fast course. None of their attacks forced a break, and by the mid-point of the stage, we were all still together.
MCipollini began to set a steady tempo on the front and took control of the race on the lead-in to Florence. Things get pretty hectic at this point, and they wanted to keep everything safe.
Tiff and I talked during the stage. Neither of us had good legs, so we just followed MCipollini and looked after each other. We tried to stay as close to the front as possible.
Heading into the final ten kilometers, we were taken off course. Apparently, someone had taken down the race signs. We were stopped, started, stopped again. They wanted to restart us yet again, which would have been pretty dangerous with only ten kilometers left to race. Bronzini asserted some authority and dictated the finish. She neutralized the stage, and then the sprinters contested the finish to put on a show for the fans. While we have results to share for today’s stage, the results don’t count towards the overall – which means nothing has changed since yesterday. Malgorzata Jasinska (Mcipollini Giambenini) won the overall. Tiff remains in eighth, and I’m further back in 15th place.
We came to Toscana to put more racing in our legs before Worlds, and, in that sense, we got what we needed out of racing here. This race is always a bit different (ie. crazy and chaotic), but it was good. I’m glad to have raced it.
Tiffany goes home to Monaco, and I head back to Varese. We’ll both stay at home for bit, and Tiff might come to Italy as her final lead-in towards Worlds. For both of us, this is the end our regular race of the road season. ORICA-GreenEDGE will race together as a trade team after Worlds, but not ORICA-AIS. Our teammates race in Holland next week, and then our trade team season comes is over – save the team time trial at the World Championships mid-month.