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.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Giro delle Dolomiti Stage 2

What a difference a day makes !!! Today was gorgeous, and tomorrow will be even better.

After Stage 1 we chatted with a friend of mine from Holland who's done the Giro six times now. He understood our frustration with the speed of the peloton. But he made a very good suggestion. Ride at the back of the pack.

So today we did just that, in front of the phalanx of cars, motor cycles, ambulances and other official vehicles. It made all the differece. But even more was the course. The first 20k was along the valley floor. Then we began to climb. At this point some of us used this climb, which was 7k long, to warm up. After a left hand turn (and with 2k of warning that it was coming), we started the timed climb. Today the timed climb was 13k long. The first 6k was about a 9% average....then a 2k section that was every so slightly downhill, so being in a group was important (plus it was a bit breezy). The last 3k we about 5-6% average. The road was perfectly smooth. Today everybody found a much better pace and we all finished within 3 min. of each other. Still we are amazed at the speed so many of these guys and gals can climb. And regardless of age or size. You find older (meaning 60+) guys going pretty darn well, a number of really strong women and even some guys over 180 lbs that can crank it out.

Our group had plenty of smiles at the top. The scenery was wonderful, the roads, the course, the pace. All is good now !

After the feed stop, we started at the back again. The decent was really nice, and safe and you could nearly go at unrestricted speeds, and move up the field. Another long climb (and plenty of room and good pace to move from the back to the front if you wanted to ride that hard) took us to the second feed and the views were even better.

Because I've ridden where we'll be going tomorrow before, I know today was just a preview of what the Dolomites offer. I'll definitely take the camera.


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