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, August 05, 2007

Giro e' finito

The Giro delle Dolomiti is finished! Wow, it was tough. We are very happy to be back "home" in Castelcucco.

Following the "rest" day, we faced 112k with four passes again (Thurs, 2 Aug.), total of 3100m of climbing. First we had to drive into the mountains for the start in Canazei. It was chilly, about 46 degrees when we arrived. Our men from Panama and Mexico were shivering just thinking about it ! But not to worry boys, first off we immediately climbed the easy side of the Marmolada. That was followed by the Passo Giau. With this event I've seen and climbed most of the major passes in the Dolomiti...but the scenery on the Giau was the best I've seen....incredible...and the climb was tough...10k at a bit over 9%. Again the speed of some of these guys shocks us. Most of us did the climb between 46-53 min. The winner? 35 min!!! Maybe there should be drug testing.....?

Following the Giau was the Falzarego and then the Pordoi with a final decent back into Canazei. I don't know if I mentioned that the riding time for our long day was over 8 hrs. Today was more than five and a half.

Things got a bit off track the next day. The day of stage 5 dawned with cold rain. Our riders who came specifically for the Giro decided to start the shortened stage and two of them finished...Ian and Tom. Hats off to you guys!

The rest of us took the day to catch up on sleep and rest sore legs. And then that night at dinner a crazy thought entered everybody's minds. Hey, what if we skip the final day and go ride the Stelvio? Are we gluttens for punishment? Ian and Tom decided to go ahead and finish the Giro (Ian was 9th on final GC in his age group), while Pat, Domenic, Alex, Juan and Rod drove up to Prato Stelvio to start the 24.3k (1800m of climbing) Passo Stelvio, the highest pass in Italy with it's 48 tornante (switchbacks or hairpins). The guys were thrilled...."what a way to end our trip" was the consensus. Ian (and wife Lyn) and Tom stayed in the area an extra day and will do the Stelvio today.

So, will we do the Giro delle Dolomiti in future years? Hard to say. It's a great event, but not really a "race". We missed an opportunity while doing the Giro to compete in a five day UDACE stage race with some climbing in the Friuli region. Chances are we'd opt to do that next year and then have a 3-4 day climbing "mini camp" headquartered in Canazei or someplace like that. All in all though a great experience. Now time to rest, recover and prepare for the UCI Masters World Championships in two weeks.


Blogger alicat said...

UDACE stage race?
Count us in and the climbing camp sounds ideal too.

My teammate and closest racing friend, Amanda, won the district RR at Ft. Ord yesterday. It was so exciting. She's on my list of recruits for VV for next summer.

August 5, 2007 at 8:34 PM  
Blogger alicat said...

Did Dom get a haircut during the rest day???

August 5, 2007 at 8:35 PM  
Blogger Pat Carroll said...

yep...says it makes him faster (he was fastest that day)....and the fact his hair gets curly when it gets long!

August 6, 2007 at 8:22 AM  

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