The only 2.1 race for women in North America in 2012, the inaugural Exergy Tour is starting later today. Not only with the top female cyclists in the world compete for the win, but for many the stake is even higher with the Olympic Games looming. The selection for the Games will be made at the end of May (or June) and this is the last big race.
A total of 17 teams are competing in the Exergy Tour, which takes place May 24-28 in Idaho. One of those riders is reigning USA National Road Champion Robin Farina, who along with her NOW and Novartis teammates, traveled to Boise,ID last Thursday right after the Women’s Invitational Time Trial at the Amgen Tour of California. Their goal was to pre-ride every stage.
Farina shared her insights on each of the stages.
“There are some definitely some tough courses, every road stage is super hard. There’s not one that I think is going to be remotely easy. I think they’re all decisive, and they’re all tough.” Farina told podiuminsight of the five-day stage race.
Though all the stages are hard, the Queen Stage is a doozy. “The second to last stage is the most climbing, even though the last stage has more elevation gain, the day before has more sustained climbing so it will be more decisive. There are definitely some climbs that are long, and that are going to break things up. It could even break up early on that day. That was hard. ” she laughed.
Many of the road stages are held in wide-open areas so wind could play a factor. The wind has already changed since Farina arrived in Boise. “It’s interesting because when we got here it was fairly warm, in the 80s and the first couple of days that we got here and rode, it was in the upper 80s. It’s been windy, winds from the southwest and last night, there was a big rainstorm and it actually cooled off, and the winds are now coming from the northwest. Things have changed since we’ve actually pre-rode the stages. That’s a huge thing. The winds are coming in from a different direction and there’s some rain in the forecast.
Farina expects the racing to be aggressive. As opposed to the Amgn Tour of California, she expects the GC contenders to start their battle before the Queen Stage. “I think it’s going to be a pretty animated and aggressive race from the gun. Obviously the prologue is for show. I think people will try to animate on the first day. There are a lot of UCI points on the line for this, most countries are still looking at their Olympic long team and trying to cut those down very shortly so I think everybody is going to be wanting some points and wanting to show form and show what they’ve got for the Olympics. I think this is going to be a pretty big throwndown.”
The race starts on Thursday evening with the prologue in Boise, ID.
“A fast course.” commented Farina.
The 2.0 miles (3.2 km) prologue is an out-an-back course with 82 feet (25 meters) of climbing with the turn-around at the Boise Train Depot.
“A long straightaway slightly up, then when you go up to the depot, a nice little kicker, you’re up over this parking lot and then you take a hard right and then a u-turn, so it’s technical right there so that’s going to be pretty exciting to watch. I think that’s the key to the course. And then you get a really fast downhill section that will lead you into the finish. It’s a pretty straight forward course. Obviously pretty violent, it will be one for those who like to go pretty hard for short periods of time.”
Starting and ending in Julia Davis Park, the prologue is in a great location. “It’s right downtown by the Capitol, I think it will be a great spectator event. I think it will be a lot of fun.” concluded Farina.
- Length: 2.0 miles / 3.2 km
- Climbing: 82 feet / 25 meters
- Start time: 6:30 pm MDT
- Finish time (ETA): 8:15 pm MDT
- Riders start every minute
- Forecast calls for high of 62 F, mostly sunny with winds NNW at 6 mph