Posted by: Jennifer Sage | March 19, 2009

The Giretto – riding the first 5 stages of the Giro? Crazy!

Yes, it’s crazy, and I keep telling myself how crazy it is every time I get off my Spin bike to train.

Yes, Spin bike. Most (but not all) of the training for this event will be indoors on a Spin bike. But more about that later.

What is the Giretto? It means “little Giro”, and 5 of us crazy passionate cyclists have committed to riding the first 5 stages of the Giro d’Italia, in advance of the pro teams. Most importantly, Gene Nacey, the founder, has managed to get it accepted as a Livestrong event, so each rider is raising money for Lance Armstrong’s foundation, Livestrong, to find a cure for cancer. Our goal is to grow this into a much bigger, annual event. But being a part of the inaugural event is pretty outstanding!

The Giretto is 415 miles. The first day is a flat time trial on the Lido, near Venice. Only 20.5km. The next 4 days are 156, 200, 165, and 1125 km; essentially four centuries in a row. Stages 1, 2 and 3 are flat (well, stage 3 has some rollers), and stages 4 and 5 go up into the Dolomites.

I will be using this blog to post about my training and preparation, and as PR for this event. I plan to share with everyone the joys and sufferings of committing to an epic ride like this with only 2 months to train!

The first thing I can tell you is the amazing power of setting a goal. The day before committing, my goal was to “get more fit for cycling season”. That’s pretty ambiguous and a goal like that doesn’t light you on fire. My tours weren’t looking very promising in this economy, so the original goal of training for a PB on Alpe d’Huez was fast dissipating.

But the very day I committed to this event, EVERYTHING changed! It was like a fire was lit inside of me. My mind-set changed. My attitude changed! And of course, my training changed, but I look at every extended ride on my Spin bike with excitement, and not drudgery. I teach 4 classes per week, and am either going earlier or staying later to get more time in the saddle (for a 1.5 – 2 hour ride). Hoping for my first road ride this weekend. By the end of April the goal is two back to back 100-milers.

Gene Nacey, the founder of the Giretto and of Cycling Fusion, has the same passion as me – to bridge the gap between indoor cycling and outdoor cycling. He read my eBook Keep it Real in your Indoor Cycling Classes and realized that we are both spreading the same gospel. That you can use indoor cycling classes to train for outdoor cycling IF you keep it specific to outdoor riding. This means that many, many of the Spinning or other indoor cycling classes that you find out there will not only NOT prepare you to ride outside, they may actually hinder your performance (the ones that are more like aerobics-on-a-bike). Better to know how to do it right and what to avoid, and take advantage of all the fun benefits of Spinning classes. 

Gene knew that he wanted me on this event. And it didn’t take long for me to say yes.

Now we need to recruit more riders! Please consider joining us. Contact Gene through his website for more information, or me at 

Keep checking back for training information on how to prepare for 400+ miles in just 8 weeks of training!

If you really cannot join us this year on the Giretto, perhaps you’d consider sponsoring me? Every little bit counts! Click here to make your donation – no matter how small!


  1. Very well said Jennifer! I won’t be with you but will be traveling with you in spirit. We are all pulling for you and I’m sure that all the participants will be well taken care of between stages.

    Looking forward to your Podcast reviews during the ride.
    John – Indoor Cycle Instructor Podcast

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