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.

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Giro delle Dolomiti Stage 1

We're in Bolzano now (a 150k drive from Castelcucco)...competing in the Giro delle Dolomiti. To be honest it's not exactly what we thought it would be. I say that because the organizers have a very tight control of the whole peleton. We knew that there was only one timed climb each day, but they have a schedule they follow....for traffic control purposes.

So today....we cruise out of town, all 800 of us, behind the lead about 25k an hour. The first climb was supposed to be 30k into the stage which should've taken about 1:15 to cover according to the printed time schedule. Luckily, or not, most of us were right near the front when all of a sudden, 14k into the ride, we go under a banner with the timeing chips beeping across the sensors. The climb is on, 9k at about 9% average. I say luckily or not because if you start a climb like that and try to stay with the best climbers here (and believe me there are some guys (and gals) who fly up the hill), you're liable to blow up. The biggest explosions came from Dom and me !!! Dom uses a SRM power meter and while the pace wasn't Tour de France speed....we are talking some serious watts being pushed (probably high 300 for the smaller guys and maybe 400 plus for some of the bigger riders). Lupo was our first 130th place! WTF? Here's a guy who's winning UDACE races and he's 130th? Ok, he's 8th in the 50-57 age group, with Ian (climbing with a lowest gear of 39x23, while the rest of us have like 39x29's) 13th in that age group. Tom K had a good climb, starting conservatively and passing all of us but Lupo and Ian.

At the top of the climb was the first feed zone. The organizers have a time schedule to follow, so you can't leave until they send the lead car out again on schedule. Then comes the frustrating part. OK, so we're up on the hills with some narrower roads and little villages. It was up and down a bit, but we were going like 10k/hr up the short little ramps and 25k/hr down them. We had all received a nice pair of Giro Dolomiti cycling shorts in our race packs.....I think they should include a new set of brake pads instead !!! Anyway, another feed zone with the mandated wait, and then we're off and back down to the valley. OK, here the lead car does 45-50k/hr which isn't bad, but on a 9% decent, the brakes were used ALOT ! Once back down in the valley at least they let us cruise at a pace that you could peddle some.
So in all we did about 83k in over 4 hrs. One funny thing about the end of the the front of the group, more and more riders were trying to get up there. It was so they could get in line for lunch quickly ! Actually it was a pretty good lunch.

We're staying in a decent little hotel about 5k from the start on the other side of Bolzano. It's pretty Euro, meaning smaller rooms, no air conditioning and lot's of church bells to listen too. I think the guys who's been in Castelcucco for awhile miss it as they take such good care of us at the Hotel Montegrappa.

OK, tomorrow is a new day. Maybe a new plan? Check back tomorrow.

BTW, our roster for this event....

Paul "Lupo" Wolfe, Canada (wife Christine joins us tomorrow)
Ian Lovell, Australia (and wife Lyn)
Tom Krenitsky, New York
Juan Gaudiano, Panama
Alex Brackmo, Mexico
Domenic Valela, Canada
Rod Ciardullo, New York
Pat Carroll


Blogger alicat said...

Your official G de D roster is lacking any women! I wish I were there to broaden the field. How many women are in the field? More than 5, I hope!


July 29, 2007 at 7:57 PM  

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