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.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Guest blogger....Dolomiti

Guest blogger....Tim V. from Knoxville, TN...these are his comments sent via Blackberry to his friends back home.

Good afternoon gents. Another day of riding in Italy that cannot be described by words of mere mortals. We did the following three climbs that were in the Giro d'Italia in 2007: Passo Giau, Passo Tre Croci, and Tre Cime Lavaredo. Total climbing today was about 3000m (10,000 ft) in about 48 miles. Brutal to say the least. I rode well up the climb to passo Giau. I was the first to the top by a few minutes. The climb was great. It was 9.5K of climbing at threshold. The views from the top are what make this climb so phenomenal. The mountain tops are gagged rocks protruding from snow covered base. Majestic spires rising above the rounded domes of the Dolomiti break the skyline and make you feel like you are in another world. The descent off of Giau is wicked fast. I am getting better at descending, but I did have a wreck. A guy was coming up the mountain and was partially in my lane. I had to cut the curve tight to avoid him and laid the bike down. It hurt like hell. I also ripped my Assos bibs. Thanks to Marzolf I have another pair. The guy did ask, in Italian, OK? I was pissed for wrecking, but I don't think it could be avoided since he was riding in the center of a narrow road. A German couple behind asked if I was OK. I lost one of my Edgar Soto water bottles because I didn't realize it was gone. This will necessitate the purchase of another one from a local shop. The climb up Passo Tre Croci was not too bad. Jack and I crossed about the same time. We then descended down to Misurina to get to the base of the climb up Tre Cime Lavaredo. Tre Cime Lavaredo is the hardest climb I have done. My right shoulder was killing me from the fall. The 4K main climb had an average grade of 15 to 18%. Did I say that it was the hardest climb that I have ever done. My shoulder was really causing me pain. I could really not pull on the bars too hard. In fact my lever is a little loose and I had to climb in the drops at times. Jack was the first at the top by a couple of minutes and climbed well. We kept about 200 m within each other. A hard day on the bike, but this was the best riding I have ever done. The group is great and the SAG support is spectacular. Pat really knows how to pick the rides and was leapfrogging us to keep us supplied and providing us cold gear when we needed. I repeat, riding in the Dolomites is the best riding that I have done. The group gets along very well and looks out for each other. All of you would enjoy the riding immensely. More news later. Now we are heading back and I am going to the pharmacy to get some things to heal my wounds and some ibuprofen for my shoulder. Right now I can hardly lift it. Ciao,Tim

and from guest blogger....Heather Mac...

Here is the report I sent, sorry it is late :-). The trip has been truly epic - far more than I ever expected. I can't thank you enough.

Italy is perfect!!Today we ventured out of Castelcucco up north to retrace the last three climbs from one of the hardest mountain stages of the Giro!!Starting in Agordo we meandered through one of those picturest valleys I have ever seen - like a post card you thought had been doctored.... We eventually started our climb up to Passo di Giau - top elevation 2232 meters. This first climb was over 5000 feet with an average grade of 12 percent. We then headed down into Cortina - the decent was epic, the roads are simply butter over here! After a brief pass through the perfect town we start the next ascent up to Passo di Croci (1805 meters), with approximately 12 percent grade. A very short downhill before we hit the real climb up to Tre Cima di Lavaredo (2320 meters). Average grade 15-18 percent - oh my god!! Thank god the views are amazing - these mountains are on steriods, we feel like we are in the land of the giants.Total ride distance: 48 milesTotal time in saddle: 5 hoursTotal elevation gain: 10,000 feet!!!!There are 4 of us here along with Pat our camp leader. A couple from upstate new york who both race cat 4 and one guy from Tennessee also a cat 4. The two guys are equally matched and Susanna and I are exactly the same pace - plus she and I can head out for shopping excursions :-)Today we will ride a simple flat 2 hours to Castelfranco for coffee and back!!Life if good!!:-) mac



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