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.

Thursday, June 28, 2007

i Dolomiti

It's been a big training week for us again. On Tuesday we took the group into the Dolomites to ride the Passo Rolle. This is a 21k climb that goes from 700m up to 1984m elevation. It is gorgeous as you can see. It's not a steep climb so when the Giro d' Italia goes over it's usually one of the first climbs of the day. Check out these photos....

On Wednesday we took the group, with hesitation up the Monte Grappa 1775m (a 26.4 k climb with 1600m of elevation gain)...I say hesitation because the weather looked a bit iffy, with storm clouds coming and going over the summit. We waited an hour then decided to give it a go. Sure enough, about 2k from the top, the leaders (Dom and Lupo) ran into rain. We didn't have the van with us this time, so worries about hypothermia on the descent caused most of the group to turn back down.

But not Lorenzo, the Ali Cat and Michele (Mike in Italian for his friends back in I told them as I passed them going down that I'd ride back to Castelcucco and get the van, then drive back up and get them. Well over 2 hours later, there they were in the Rifugio at the top, only enough $$ for hot chocolate, shivering, waiting and hungry. Mother Grappa had made them pay a price (43 degree rain!), but Allison set a record for the 30-34 age group women, 1hr 47min....she's one tough chick .... Complementi Ali !
Here's the Grappa on a nicer day !

Today, Thursday, was a day that everyone admitted they were about "cotto" (cooked). I took them on a 54 mile ride with about 3,000 ft. of climbing (we took out the final climb in favor of a race play section).

Damn, that Ali Cat is a tiger! The girl knows how to suffer, right there for the final sprint to Asolo (after Mike fell off the pace!)

The reason we had taken out the final climb (one used in International U23 races here) is that Ali told me she was ACTUALLY tired ! But there she is having a go.

Good luck to the ladies back in the Bay Area....she is going to throw down on you all in July !!!

Ok, racing on Saturday then a big ride in the Dolomites on Sunday over four passes....Sella, Pordoi, Campolongo and Gardena !

Until then, "in bocca al lupo"


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