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.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

Day Two ... by Dave Linden

We loaded up the Velo Veneto van at 12:30 PM and headed south. There would be five of us racing, myself and four juniors from Ottawa. I would be competing in the Super Gentleman class at 2:30 PM. The juniors would be riding in the “open” class at around 5:00 PM. After an hour’s drive we arrived at the race. The course was a four mile circuit of which we would do nine laps for a total of 35 miles. The course had lots of corners and was flat except for two motorway overpasses which we would have to climb and descend each lap. The field was big but not huge. I’d guess about 60 riders. The race went from the gun and I found myself right at the front for the first two laps. In fact, I lead the field through the start finish the first two times. I tried some early breaks but nothing really ever got established. After the first two laps I settled in and let others do the work. The race was pretty fast given that everyone in the field was over 56. The average speed was in excess of 25 mph. Here’s how the Italians seem to race: A team goes to the front and purposely opens a gap letting one of their riders escape. Riders then start bridging to them one by one. It was common to have a break of five riders form and get 100 meters off the front. However, they always seemed to eventually sit-up usually because there were two many “passengers” who had bridged across and were now sitting on.

Any ways, the finish was about one kilometer after the last overpass. I wanted to be in good position coming down that overpass. On the last lap, a group of three riders were 100 meters off the front going into the overpass. I bridged across to them over the climb pulling a couple of other riders with me. So, with one kilometer to go, I was in a six man group with a very small lead. Unfortunately the break slowed down a bit with 500 meters to go and the front of the field swarmed by us announced by the sound of metal scraping against pavement as some riders went down behind me. I jumped into the swarm but only managed to finish about 15th overall. All in all, it was a “great” introduction to Italian racing.

Here's some info from my PowerTap ...
Duration: 1:19:10
Distance: 33.6 miles
Max Power: 1060 watts
Normalized (Ave.) Power: 322 watts
Ave. Speed: 25.5 mph


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