“Luglio col bene che ti voglio…” In Italy, we have this old song which translates as ‘July with the good that I want you’ and now, more than ever, it fits perfectly with this month.
After spring and the Classics, July is the month that brings together two very important events of my 2022: Giro d’Italia (just finished) and the Tour de France (just started).
Before going deep on these races, I want to dedicate the first note of my blog to a substantial novelty: In my closet, there is no longer the tricolore jersey of the Italian champion. After wearing it for two seasons, at the end of June, I had to pass it to my teammate and friend Elisa Balsamo. I won’t hide the fact that on the day of the Italian Championships, after the finish line, I felt a strange sensation realizing that I would no longer wear the tricolore jersey.
With a good dose of realism, I knew that the course this year did not fit my characteristics and it would have been difficult to defend the title myself. However, the emotional aspect you cannot control. I had become attached to the tricolore jersey. I wore it around the world with enormous pride and it had become like a second skin. I admit it took me a few hours to come to terms with it but, in the end, I said to myself, “well it’s just goodbye.”
The most curious thing happened then at the Giro, where our staff did not immediately recognize me in the group and my colleagues looked at me almost astonished. So many opponents pointed out that it was easier to recognize me in the group before. “Great,” I replied because now it will be easier to go on the attack.
Right now, I can definitely say “no”.
I know that I have worked well and that I have prepared properly. I couldn’t have done or asked for anything better and being able to recognise this gives me a lot of satisfaction. Of course, I have a goal, shared with the team, which is to go for the General Classification. It’s something I want to try to do and I’m excited about it. But, I’m not looking for a tactical wheel-to-wheel race, I don’t think that’s what suits me here. I want to enjoy every moment of the Tour de France Femmes and I want to do it my way: aggressively, having fun and trying to put on a show and provide entertainment to the thousands of fans who will be watching.