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.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Marmolada, et guest blogger!

the view from Passo Valles

Good afternoon gents! Well, I just finished my second long ride in the Dolomites. We did Passo Rolle, Passo Valles, and the Marmolada. The ride was 94K with a total 3100m+ (over 10,000ft) of climbing. Jack and I went for the time record up Passo Rolle. The record is 1 hour and 3 minutes. Jack and I both did the ride in around 1 hour and 10 minutes. The conditions were not ideal. It was very windy and it was constantly in your face. The climb is between 5 to 10% grade the whole way up. Jack managed to wreck himself while trying to zip up his jersey or his time would have been faster. I on the other hand threw my chain twice. If we haven't had problems and had some better weather we would have been much closer to the record. Pat indicated that he thought the headwind really impacted our times. The temperature also affect us. We were both cold even though we were riding hard. I really couldn't ride at threshold, which is an indicator that my legs are dead. The descent is fast and beautiful but not too long. The ride up to Passo Valles is not all that difficult. The climb is only about 7.5k long. It is a good break for the climb up the Marmolada. You have a very long descent off of the Passo Valles back to Alleghe for the start of the climb to Marmolada. The actual Maramolada climb is up to Passo Fedaia. The climb starts at the little town of Caprile and is 14k long. The start of the climb is not too bad but does have some kickers. The last 6k up the Marmolada is painful. There is an extended section that is over 15% grade that is at least 1k long. About 3k from the top you finally get some temporary relief with a few switchbacks, but each switchback is at 15% grade. There are actually signs that tell you the grade. The views from the top are incredible. There is a lake at the top that provides some incredible views and was good for a photo stop. We are now headed back to Castelcucco for some rest before dinner. And our hotel proprietors are fixing a Veneto specialty...rice and peas (Risi e pisi)

I do not have high expectations for the TT (back home in Tennessee...ed.) this weekend since I have riden well over 430 miles and 30 hours since last Monday.



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