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"The professional women’s peloton last week raced one of its biggest events of the year, the Giro Rosa, but did so without one of its main media advocates, CJ Farquharson, a photographer who contributed to Cyclingnews, her own web site womenscycling.net, and to numerous women’s teams and race organisations."

Vos and Pooley lead praise for photographer, and women’s cycling advocate CJ Farquharson | Cyclingnews.com

CJ is one of the big reasons I fell in love with women’s cycling - I’ll really, really miss her work

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As we came out of the tunnels we hit the lake and it was game on. Still more than 10kms from the bottom of the climb I hadn’t expected teams to be pushing the pace so hard so early but since Elisa and I were there I decided to keep surfing trains. By this time Rabobank had appeared and there were now three teams fighting for control of the peloton. It was fast!

With 2km to the base of the climb I dropped Elisa off onto Emma Johansson’s wheel and watched the front of the peloton race away. I was shocked to look behind me and see a splintered peloton. Only 15 or so girls remained at the front and behind was carnage.

As I dropped backwards like a stone through water I saw Mara Abbott pulling a group behind that included riders like Evie Stevens and Emma Pooley. They had obviously been caught out by the surge of pace.

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Giro Diary: Stage Nine | Chloe Hosking

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The highlight of my day came 1km from the finish. I had been promised weeks in advance by the Zampine (the Ornavasso sporting cheer squad and friends of Elisa) a beer and a push in the final kilometres of the stage. And, as promised as I rounded one of the final corners of the 15km climb I spotted the Zampine.

“Ciao Zampine,” I yelled, waving my hand in their signature paw wave.

Like a crowd at a football match when their team scores the group of ten or so erupted into cheers, “Ciao Chloe! Ciao Zampini!”

Andrea, one of the ring leaders of the group, ran down towards me with a cold beer in his hand and turned to run alongside me as he reached me. He handed me the beer and as I passed the crazy, cheering squad of Zampine I raised the beer to my lips and and poured it down my throat like it was water on a 45degree day. Amazingly, as I did so, the cheers got louder.

With a huge smile on my face I handed the beer back to Andrea and he fulfilled the second part of his promise, giving me one final push before I passed the group.

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Giro Diary: Stage Eight | Chloe Hosking

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The issue was all of a sudden we were climbing again, up an uncategoried climb that rivalled the gradient of the Murr de Huy (or at least it felt like it). The same screaming noise that had come from my legs on the first 7km reared it’s ugly head again but I tried to channel my inner Jens, ‘shut up legs’.

There were two big groups agonisingly close to me; I felt like what I imagine my dog feels like when I tease him with treats. Holding them just out of his reach, he would pop back on his hind legs to try and snatch it but I would raise the treat a little higher just before he got the chance.

The catch with this metaphor is that after I had my fun I would always give him the treat. Today, I didn’t get my treat. Today, I didn’t get to that group in front of me.

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Giro Diary: Stage Seven | Chloe Hosking

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Even before the team meeting I could feel my legs hurting. With such a mountainous day ahead of us I knew my job would be early on in the race meaning I would still have drag myself to finish line, most likely more than 30minutes after the winner had crossed the line.

And I wasn’t wrong.

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Giro Diary: Stage Six | Chloe Hosking

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Today’s fifth stage of the Giro Rosa from Jesi to Cesenatico was most likely the last chance for the sprinters to come out to play this year. With the peloton moving into the mountains tomorrow I was determined not to miss another opportunity as I had a few days earlier in Frattamaggiore.

Hitting the half-way point of the tour the tiredness and hunger hit me hard last night but as we rolled out of the beautiful – and busy – starting town of Jesi I could tell it was one of those where you get on your bike and your legs just want to party.

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Giro Diary: Stage Five | Chloe Hosking

Really love this blog - excellent insight into team tactics, and what it’s like in the sprint from the inside

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While I had been certain that the peloton would shatter on the climb it seemed with the break up the road everyone was happy to ride ‘piano’, or at least piano for those who are actually good at climbing. I managed to sit comfortably in the peloton up the climb which was a small victory in my eyes.

As we came over the climb the gap to the leading group had blown back out to over one minute and United HealthCare and Giant Shimano started to chase, with 20km to go 10 of which were uphill, they were obviously worried about the group in front. Which as it turns out they should have been.

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Chloe Hosking Giro Rosa blog: Stage 3 | Cyclingnews.com

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Professional cycling, or just professional sport in general, can be an emotional roller-coaster. One day you can be on cloud nine, nothing could have gone better and you’re loving life. The next day everything can go wrong and you just want to crawl into a dark corner and stay there.

After yesterday’s ecstasy brought on by the team’s fantastic performance in the opening road stage of the Giro Rosa that saw Elisa Longo Borghini finish second on the stage and move into third overall, today was a dark corner day for me, and for the rest of the team.

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Chloe Hosking Giro Rosa blog: Stage 2 | Cyclingnews.com

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Why did we have a neutralised lap I hear you ask? Well, the easy answer is because the course was crazy. With an extremely narrow approach to the climb, combined with a technical descent that was followed by an even more technical and narrow flat section there were more than a few occasions during the neutralised lap that I found my self holding my breath and hoping for the best, and maybe muttering a few other things.

While I wasn’t stoked to have such a ridiculous course for the first stage of our largest tour I was definitely pleased that the organisation made the sensible decision to allow the peloton to see what was ahead of them before firing the starting gun.

And it’s good thing they did because despite the ‘recon’, I saw – or heard – girls crashing on the technical descent almost every lap. It was traumatic, watching rider after rider slide into prepared hay bails and mattresses.

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Chloe Hosking Giro Rosa blog: Stage 1 | Cyclingnews.com

LOVE Chloe’s blogging!

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1km out and 1km back the course was run through the centre of downtown Caserta and on truly horrible roads; the pavé was like Belgian cobbles that had been given growth hormones. Large and lumpy you were thrown from one side to the other and finding a rhythm and maintaining a high power was not easy.

Seeing Annemiek van Vlueten and Marianne Vos pre riding the course was a huge advantage; watching where they breaked, what line they took around the corner and where they picked to ride on the horrible pavé probably helped me save three or more seconds.

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Giro Diary: Prologue | Chloe Hosking

Absolutely love Chloe’s writing!

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More of my Q&As with riders about the Giro, with Marianne Vos, Emma Johansson, Chloe Hosking, Alena Amialiusik, Sharon Laws and Jessie Maclean

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Twitter / velofocus

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My former teammate Ina-Yoko Teutenberg is the only rider that I have ever thought, ‘I want to be like them‘.

I was never one to idolise riders when I was growing up but after having the opportunity to race alongside Ina for three years and see how she operated she’s probably the closest person I have to a idol or hero; if anything, I definitely think of her as a mentor.

Like most of the peloton I respect her enormously. She is, in my opinion, one of the best road sprinters women’s cycling has ever seen but she was also a powerful time trialist, an impressive hill climber and a selfless teammate.

Witnessing first hand what kind of rider she was and the effort she put in has given me something to strive towards as I continue on my cycling journey. Like a little kid, I still think to myself, ‘when I grow up I want to be able to climb like Ina’.

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Influential People: my small army | Chloe Hosking

I really love this blog, all about the people who influenced Chloe and helped her cycling career

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My teammate, and one of the best hill climbers in the world, Elisa Longo Borghini said; “It’s just amazing, you really can’t imagine, we’re really just trying to hurt each other as much as possible. It’s crazy.”

In the same conversation we were talking about suffering. My French teammate Audrey was joking about how she didn’t feel like suffering in that day’s race, Elisa said; “I just love it. I know I’m suffering but I’m just thinking, I want to make them suffer more!”

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Suffering in Spain | Chloe Hosking

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If you haven’t been through the selection process for a major Games it is hard to imagine just what the athletes go through. On several occasions I’ve likened it to the Hunger Games, but that might be a bit extreme. In retrospect it might be more similar to the silent running practices the Australian SAS forces use to see if their troops will crack.

Needless to say, the selection process for all three major Games I’ve been eligible for has never been an enjoyable experience for me. I’ve lost ample hours of sleep, had a handful of minor breakdowns, and maybe a few emotional binge eating sessions.

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Cycling Tips Blog: The ups and downs of selection for the Glasgow Commonwealth Games | Chloe Hosking