Velo Veneto - Ciclismo Italiano !

Stories from the Velo Veneto bike racing camp in Castelcucco, Italy

Name:
Location: San Francisco, California, United States

I'm a 50 year old kid who loves to race bikes. I operate a bike racing camp in Northern Italy. When not in Italy I have the good fortune of living in one of the best places to ride, the Northern California Wine Country.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Twittering

Trying to figure out how to post from Twitter.com/VeloVeneto directly to the 'blog here and to Facebook

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Tre Provincia

video

Today's ride was 103k, 3:35 ... we covered three different provinces (like counties in USA) ... our own Treviso, then Vicenza, into Belluno and back. The climb up to "Rocca" was awsome, very old road, but in really nice shape to the beautiful lake where we had a drink and snack. La Dolce Vita !!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

We did 90ks, a bit over three hours today ... was nice and warm with moderate humidity. Mostly it was a flat to rolling course out to the Montello, site of the 1985 World Championships which 40 yr old Joop Zoetemilk won. On the way back to Castelcucco we went over the Col Mostacin (3k at 8% ave., max 12%), which is used often in local junior and U23 races. It's a very narrow, winding road that can be a bit sketchy in the wet. But most of these Italians go downhill like feerless deamons. It's no wonder since they start racing on decents like this when there are teenagers.


I was a bit incredulous at the whining of one LA and LL during the Giro, complaining about decending on wet, twisty roads. Hey guys, this is bike racing. Perhaps we should take them up and down gravel roads with 30 lbs bikes and spare tubulars around their shoulders ... make men out of them !!!
Just kidding :-)


It was market day in Nervesa at the east end of the Montello. Here's a couple of
shots of David and Paul.




Monday, June 15, 2009

Italia calling

Ciao Tutti ... only four weeks to go until camp opens in Castelcucco. I got chills down my spine watching the Giro this year when they finished in Valdobiaddane. Great win for Petacchi. Those are the roads we ride so frequently at Velo Veneto.

If you haven't seen this on PezCycling News ( http://www.pezcyclingnews.com/?pg=fullstory&id=7150&status=True&catname=Latest%20News ) check it out ! We'll be riding that same loop a couple of times this summer.

Friday, January 02, 2009

Riding with Renato in Italy

This video was made by Matt Fritzinger, founder of the NorCal HS Mtb League. Matt was a rider at Velo Veneto in 2000. He visited Renato in Castelcucco in November 2008.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Final Day...Thanks Velo Veneto !

Velo Veneto Racing Camp – Italy - Day Ten: Today we did a 50 mile ride in the Dolomites. We climbed four passes all of which have been included in the Giro at one time or another. I’ll just let the pictures tell their own story. It was a great ending to a fantastic trip.














Thank you Velo Veneto!
Dave Linden
(Our route this day went over Passo Pordoi, Passo Sella, Passo Gardena and Passo Campolongo ... ed)






Saturday, August 16, 2008

Day Nine

Velo Veneto Racing Camp – Italy - Day Nine: Well it took me six races but today I finally made it into the winning break and finished in the top ten! To make it even sweeter, two of my team mates were in the break with me and that resulted in our team winning the overall team competition as well. This is the first time Velo Veneto has won a team trophy for nearly 10 years. Here is our proud team with our trophy.




Today’s race was in Carbonera which is an hour southeast of our hotel. It was another mostly flat circuit race but it did have two significant motorway overpasses to “climb”. One of them came immediately after a hard left turn which made it even more significant. Here’s a shot of the race registration area.










The race was about 40 miles and consisted of eight laps. The start was the fastest I had seen all week and by the beginning of the second lap there was a six man break established with out any of our team represented. The field caught the break halfway though the second lap but immediately three riders from the same break attacked again. A few riders chased and then we hit the sharp left turn at the base of the overpass climb. The race then exploded as riders tried to bridge to the break over the climb. I was the last to try. I totally buried myself and it must have taken me 30 seconds to get across. I almost didn’t make it across the last 15 meters. Finally I did make contact and we had a 13 man break established with six laps to go. Here’s a shot of me leading the break with Mateo sitting fourth.






The break worked well together. I suffered for the first couple of laps but then settled in. We eventually opened a gap of over 90 seconds on the field. The sprint was won by a fellow who used to be a track sprinter on the Italian Olympic squad. I finished ninth and was very pleased with that result. Here’s a photo of me receiving my bag of groceries from the podium girl.










It was a great way to end our week of racing. Tomorrow we are going to take it “easy” and do a 50 mile training ride in the Dolomites hopefully going over four mountain passes, all of which have been used in the Giro. I should have some good photos of the Dolomites for tomorrow’s final edition of this blog.
Thanks for reading. Dave Linden

Friday, August 15, 2008

Day 8

Velo Veneto Racing Camp – Italy - Day Eight: Today we traveled to the town of Ponte de Piave for yet another perfectly flat circuit race. The Omnium is now over so the fields are smaller. Our field was only about 50 riders today. Ponte de Piave is a “holy” place for Italian cycling with a monument and shrine to the famed “Campianissimo” of Italian cycling, Fausto Coppi. Our race finished right next to his monument.



















This race was located right in the middle of some vineyards. In fact, most of the cars parked under the grape vines:









Once again the four juniors and myself would be racing together in the Supergentleman field. I’m pretty sure the old guys are getting pretty sick of having to chase the juniors around. We were doing 12 laps today for a total of only 30 miles. Trevor established a break on the second lap which proved to be the winning move.








Logan, Mateo and I worked to control the field with Logan doing the majority of the work and totally demoralizing the entire filed. We eventually had to lay off because the Italians actually began threatening us with bodily harm! Here’s a shot of Logan controlling the field with me in fourth spot. He’s even smiling!








On the last lap Mateo and I got a few hundred meters on the field but were caught about 500 meters from the finish. I finished around 15th but it was a victory for the Velo Veneto team as Trevor dropped his break away companions in the sprint.

Racing in Italy is a really big deal as you might imagine. Even a local race like this is complete with a podium and podium girls. Here’s the boys receiving their awards for the
“Debutante” category.












Tomorrow is our last day of racing. See you then.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 7

The Velo Veneto team returned to racing today in Sarego and we finally made an impact on the local racing scene. Sarego is about an hour west of our hotel. On the drive there we passed through Vicenza, which is where Campagnolo is located. We also passed the remnants of a walled city (called Marostica) probably from medieval times.






Once again the four juniors and myself would be racing together in the Super Gentleman field. We had heard there might be a one kilometer climb in the race today and when we arrived in Sarego, it certainly looked hilly enough to support such a climb.













However, much to our collective dismay, the race again was perfectly flat except for a single small bump over a canal. We would do seven laps for 35 miles. Three of the juniors would play a major role in today’s race. Here’s a picture of (left to right) Logan, Matteo, and Trevor.











Logan initiated numerous breaks, some lasting a lap, some lasting only a few minutes. He was by far the most aggressive rider in the race. Matteo and Trevor also raced hard. However, as we began the final lap, three other riders had a 10 second gap. Then Logan, Trevor, Matteo, myself, and another couple of riders jumped hard to close the gap. I looked back and saw there was about a 50 meter gap behind me so I shouted at the juniors to kick it hard. I sat up to slow the chase while they jumped away with three other riders. Mateo and Trevor buried themselves and launched Logan into the final stretch. (The pack caught Matteo and Trevor in the last kilo.) Logan and the two others fought it out in the sprint and Logan finished second. I continued trying to control the field until our sprint started. I finished about 20th. All and all a great result for Team Velo Veneto.

Here’s a picture of me leading through one of the corners.










Finally, here’s a shot of the finish of the Gentlemen’s field which was the race after ours.







This race was the last of the Omnium event. Although I did not have any top ten finishes and thus no Omnium points, I still had a great time racing.

We have two other races left over the next two days. Then on Sunday we are planning a ride in the Dolomites which will include some of the Giro climbs. By then, I should be ready to go home.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 6

Today was another recovery day and I really needed it. Four of us rolled out of camp at 9:00 AM under cloudy and threatening skis. I left my camera at the hotel fearing it might rain (which it didn’t). We did a steady 45 mile ride on what the locals call the “Canal Route” which circles around the Montello following a couple of canals. It is a very popular cycling route and we must have seen over a hundred other riders including a couple of large teams complete with team cars.

We were back to the hotel for lunch followed by a quick nap. Then it was off to another of the numerous bike shops in the area. Although I did not have my camera with me today, I thought I would include some shots I took during our first rest day on Monday.



















It's back to racing tomorrow and we heard the course might have a 1 kilometer climb in it. Once again the juniors will be racing with me in the Supergentlemen field. My quest for a top ten finish continues.