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, August 12, 2008

Day 4 - by Dave Linden

Velo Veneto Racing Camp – Italy - Day Four: Today’s race is about an hour and a halfaway in Vescovana. As usual my start time is at 2:30 PM and the temperature is pushing 90 degrees. The course consists of five laps of an eight mile mostly flat course. There isone little hill as we climb and then later descend off of a levee. The supergentleman fieldwas big today consisting of about 80 riders.

Italians do race differently than we do. One example is cornering. In the US, the pelotontries to carry as much speed through the corners as possible. In Italy, the entire field hitsthe brakes hard at every corner and then sprint out of it like crazy. I’m told it’s a tacticaimed at creating gaps and dropping riders. I really pissed off a bunch of guys when Idove inside them on the sharp turn at the bottom of the little descent off the levee. Theyall started shouting at me but I can only guess at what they were saying.

Also, the prizes in Italy are quite different. Everyone that places (usually top ten) gets thesame prize, a bag of groceries!

The racing today was similar to Saturday. Team mates constantly let gaps open right near thefront and you spend most of your race jumping across the gaps. I must have jumped across adozen gaps today, Unfortunately, I chose the wrong time to drift back into the field and a breakof eight riders got away without me with two laps to go. Seven kilometers from the finish I didmanage to get away in a three man group but we were caught about one kilometer from the finish.
I jumped in as the field screamed by and finished somewhere around 20th..

Here’s picture of one of the “younger” groups coming and going at the start finish.

Tomorrow things change a little as the juniors are going to start racing in the supergentlemanfield along with me. (Turns out woman and juniors typically race with the supergentleman.)
So, tomorrow I will no longer be alone in the field but will have four team mates.

Talk to you tomorrow!


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