Velo Veneto - Ciclismo Italiano !

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

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.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

GF Campagnolo

Almost dinner time here in Italy on Wed, June 20. The Gran Fondo was three days ago, so why am I just writing now? Sono molto stanco !!! (I am very tired)

This year because of some conflicts with one of the towns the ride went through, the race started at the ungoldly hour of 6:45 am which meant having to get up about 4:30 !!!
As usual, those that care too, meaning most of the bunch, start out like bats out of hell (once you clear the starting area and get out of town anyway) one point I saw 61k/hr on a flattish stretch....well, ok, that was me trying to bridge up to the next group.
So you hit the first main climb at the 36k mark and face 9km at a 6% average with maximum of 10%...not too bad for openers. Check back here soon for some video I took while riding up that first climb.
At the top of that climb is the first feed zone and the point where the long distance course deviates....they do 213k !!!
By this point you're riding in smaller groups, like 6-10 riders. Following a long decent with about 10 hairpins, the second main climb is up, the "le Ej". This climb isn't to bad for the first half, but the road is rough. The total climb is 11k long but the last 5k averages about 9% with extended pitches at 12-13% !!!
Paul had started farther back in the grid than me so had to make up 3-5 min on me. Just as we're hitting the steeps, Lupo comes spinning by in his 34x25 (my 39x25 takes good fitness to haul over those climbs!). Ciao Lupo, go ahead, I feel like asdlkekdfl !!!

But down the other side who do I see but senor Wolf. The rough decent had taken the starch out of his collar and we rode down to the next feed zone and actually stopped at that one.
There is no flats and from the bottom of that decent you cross the river and immediately start up the Croce d'Aune....or as we call it, the "kick in the crotch e' !!! This climb is used often in the Giro d''s 11k with the first 3k at about 7% average, then a flattish few k's with the last 4-5k averaging about 10% with 12-13% max grades....mamma mia !!!
FYI, at the top is the Campagnolo monument where Tulio Campagnolo in an amateaur race in the cold and rain couldn't get his frozen fingers to work changing his real wheel gearing....which lead to him inventing the quick release and the BEST gruppo company in the world !!!
I'm not sure how or why, but my legs came good on this final climb and this time I dropped Lupo then headed down the other side with it's smooth roads and sweeping's easy to hit 50 mph on this !
I thought we were home free, but we hadn't noticed a little article in the race magazine about a new climb they added this year....2.3k at 8% with 11% max they've broken my will and Lupo has caught up again....drats!
Once over that "denti", which means jagged tooth, it was flat to the finish, well almost. We got into a group of about 7 riders and hammered the 10k home, into town, a sharp left turn on to the cobbles then a 250m grind up to the finish....ah oh, cramps!!!
And so Pappa Grappa and Lupo finished together in 198th and 204th in
4 hrs 49 min for 122k.
btw, the weather was great....about 60 degrees at the start and low 70's by the finish....perfetto.
Since that time there have been two airport runs to make (the first right after a quick lunch and shower on Sunday) and fresh legs arriving wanting to hit the road. Hence today was a day off for me, driving the van and taking pictures.
More soon and coming up this weekend UDACE racing !


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