Getting ready for the world cup

Tomorrow we are flying to Spain for what will be my first world cup. I feel excited just writing that! The Aussie team comprises myself, Amanda Spratt, Carlee Taylor, Rachel Neylan and Tiffany Cromwell. Shara unluckily will be chained to the ergo back in Varese as her wrist heals.
Yesterday's session was pretty epic and fair smashed me. I seem to be saying that a lot lately. We did a bit over 4hrs, incl some hill sprints followed by a race up a 6km climb, followed by some motorpacing. In Marv's words, 'If you thought the motorpacing on Tuesday was hard then this will be brutal.' I was happy with my climbing, but unfortunately when we crossed into Switzerland for the motorpacing, my legs got held up by border control and failed to make it. You know you've had a hard session when you find yourself taking your empty gel packets out of your pocket and sucking them again just in case you missed anything the first time.
My mental image for the last hour of our session

As soon as we got back from training, we had to wash our bikes ready for Spain. Us riders get the luxury of travelling by plane on Saturday; our coaches and staff set off yesterday (Thurs) arvo for the 2-day drive. We are looked after very well! Then it was lunch, some stretching, then time for our Italian lesson. Ariana, our Italian teacher, holds regular lessons at the AIS base which are, especially in my case, much needed to avoid sounding like an American tourist. We focus on vocab that we're likely to need out on the bike. My second lesson involved learning sentences like, 'I have broken my [insert name of bone]', 'How long must I stay in a cast?' and 'I need to go get a gelati'. Hopefully we will use the last one more than the first two.
Today is another recovery day, which meant an early ergo, skype chat with Donna the supercoach, then straight to our local cafe for a caffeine hit.

Me, Carlee and Spratty enduring another hectic morning at Bar Cavour
I feel I should mention at this point that, despite photographic evidence to the contrary, we do not spend every day sitting around at Bar Cavore. It's just that I don't take my camera on training days because it would get ruined in my sweaty back pocket. Having said that, we have ridden through such spectacular scenery in the last week that I think I will have to pack it next time, sweaty back pocket or not.
Our racing in Spain involves the world cup on Sunday, then a rest day, then a one day race, rest day then 3 day tour. We'll be there for 10 days in all, which is a lot of tapas time. The world cup looks pretty flat, which isn't great for us but I think Marv has a cunning plan.
I will try to keep you posted on the racing in Spain.
Ride Happy