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Mayuko Hagiwara Blog: Team Player at the Giro Rosa

After having made a return to the race from rehabilitation in the Japanese National Championships Road Race at the end of June, I travelled to Italy to participate Giro Rosa, which would last 10 days.

In this year’s Giro, the team made magnificent results, winning four stages with Elisa achieving the Queen of Mountains jersey. On the other hand, Mara had a badly timed crash on the descent of the Mortirolo, which then made it impossible for us to save Mara’s Maglia Rosa jersey even for a single day.

Every day was a tough challenge for me because I was not in my perfect condition after tumbling off on the first day. Personally, though, I tried to push myself as hard as possible, focusing on what I could do at every moment for the team.

I had to race from far behind in some stages as having to interrupt constant, repetitive attacks from other teams. The result allowed me to realise that I was improving on the right track in order to strongly compete in the European races again. Although the Giro Rosa this year did not let me compete in the front like previous years, it is still the most exciting and challenge-worth competition in the year.

It is quite funny but it felt as if I was racing home in Japan, not in Italy, since the local spectators on the sidewalk cheered me up by calling my first name and nickname in a very friendly and encouraging manner. In addition, I would like to extend my sincere gratitude to the Japanese fans who came all the way from Japan to support me this year.

Also, I must hugely thank Ms Sonoko Tanaka who has been great help for women’s cycling to become more popular across Japan by covering stories from the scene.

Since it is very difficult for me as a racer to take enough time and effort to deliver news, I would like to try harder to achieve even better results which can be attracting positive attention towards the sport in the country.

My next destination will be the International Thuringen Rundfahrt der Frauen (2.1) held in Thuringen, Germany, from 15th to 21st July.

The team will compete with solid and strong members, so I will also try hard to contribute to its challenge to win the race.


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