Friday, February 27, 2009

Epic Stelvio

This guest article is written by Glenn Ackerson (above) who participated in a Gran Fondo Cycling Tours ( bike vacation.

"Look up the word “epic” in the dictionary, and you'll find definitions like "...surpassing the usual or ordinary, particularly in scope or size." Look up Passo Stelvio on the Internet, and you'll find it described as “…the highest paved mountain pass in the Eastern Alps, second only to Col de l'Iseran in the Alps in height.” Put them together, and you have the epic climb that is Passo Stelvio - a climb with more than twice the number of switchbacks (48) as the famous Alpe d' Huez (21.) Add to that the elevation of the summit, 9,048 feet, and you have one of the Italian Alps’ most impressive and challenging climbs. The Stelvio is one of 3 legendary passes of that region featured in the Giro d' Italia, and you're likely to see the racers climbing it next to a bank of snow in the Giro, due to its height.

On our Maratona tour, day 1 began with a bang - a chance to return to the legendary climb. I jumped at the chance to revisit, because where else in the world can you climb a pass of such epic proportions? Stelvio is truly a road that harkens back to the days before automobiles and before the massive tunnels that bore through the Alps on the straight superhighways of today. As we began the climb, I was thankful for the cloud cover, because it kept us cool. And, as the switchback signs began their count backwards on the ascent – 48, 40, 30, 25, 20, a light rain began to fall that I actually didn't mind, because when you're climbing, a light rain doesn't get you that wet. As we neared the summit, I realized that the rain had changed to snow, but it somehow fit perfectly into the epic climb that is the Passo Stelvio. Where else but a pass like the Stelvio would you ride into the snow in July?

As we arrived at the summit, with the anticipation of the traditional visit to the bratwurst stand, this light snowfall grew in intensity and suddenly, leg warmers, arm warmers and my rain jacket weren't cutting it; we were experiencing a true snow squall! The picture you see should have a caption like, "hurry up and take the photo - we're freezing!"

I will admit to doing something after that photo shot and a coffee drink to warm up that I've never done on a tour before - taking a ride back down the mountain in the van. It's a ride like that when you appreciate a tour company with a van always nearby. And, even the brave souls that descended before us on bikes, swearing to get in every last mile, soon jumped in the van, when the reality of the weather and the difficulty in feeling fingers with which to brake set in. The Stelvio, snow and all, didn't disappoint, and on this day, it lived up to its epic reputation."

A very good series of photos of the Stelvio climb are in this blog entry:

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Thursday, February 26, 2009

Birthplace of the Italian Bicycle

My thanks to Nick R. for submitting the following article which appeared in "The Florentine".

Home of the Bicycle
February 26, 2009

Florence is not only the birthplace of Gino Bartali, one of the greatest cyclists in history, but it is the birthplace of the Italian bicycle. The velocipede was built by Florentine inventor Giovan Battista Gallizio, who made the two-wheelers from 1860 to 1880.

Cycle lovers can catch a glimpse of this rare piece of history at the Museo di Ciclismo Gino Bartali in Ponte ad Ema (FI) until February 28. As part of the exhibit, entitled "From the velocipede to the bicycle", Gallizio's velocipede is showcased with some other very rare cycles: a late-1800s tricycle in iron and with different sized wheels, as well as two motor-run bicycles from the 1900s.

The exhibit explores the history of the bicycle in Italy with the aim of ‘attracting more Florentines to the museum and to the sport', says the museum's director, Leonardo Petronici.

Established by the Associazione Amici del Museo del Ciclismo Gino Bartali, the museum in Ponte ad Ema also holds an important permanent collection of cycles, jerseys, biographies and anecdotes of Italy's great cycling champions as well as an entire room dedicated to the titles won by Bartali.

Associazione Amici del Museo del Ciclismo
Gino Bartali
Via Chiantigiana, 177
50126 Ponte a Ema (Firenze)
Tel. 055/6461272
Open (at time of writing):
Thursday 9,30 - 13,00 and 15,30 - 19,30
Friday 9,30 - 13,00 and 15,30 - 19,30
Saturday 9,00 - 13,00
I've been informed that large groups can arrange visits at different times

Photo: museum logo

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Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Campagnolo WIN YOUR DREAM Contest

Campagnolo has launched a new contest where the two top prizes are trips to the gran fondo Maratona dles Dolomites as part of a dream team of Italian champions.

Campagnolo WIN YOUR DREAM Contest

"Being part of the Dream Team is a real possibility. By purchasing a Campagnolo 11Speed drivetrain or a Campagnolo 11Sportswear Speed set, you can participate in the contest and win your dream.

The objective of great champions is to win, and with Campagnolo 11 Speed you, too, can set big objectives for yourself: to win a place in the Marathon of the Dolomites alongside the super-champions of the C11 Campagnolo Dream Team. Campagnolo has reserved two places of honour that will be drawn from among those who have purchased a complete Campagnolo 11 Speed drivetrain or a Campagnolo Sportswear 11 Speed set (Jersey + Bib). Campagnolo also offers prizes for the names drawn up to the 11th place."

My multi-part story of the 2007 Maratona, and the funny story of meeting Greg LeMond, can be found by search in my blog under "2007 Maratona".
Stories for the Italian Cycling Journal welcome; contact


FIRENZE (Florence), 23 February 2009 - The 44th edition of the Tirreno-Adriatico, the "race of the two seas", professional road race was presented here today. The 7 stage race, from 11 to 17 March, will begin for the first time in Tuscany. It's expected to be an important test for Ivan Basso as he prepares for the Giro d'Italia. The Tirreno-Adriatico also serves as an indicator of who will be the top contenders at the Milan-Sanremo one-day classic on 21 March.

Photos: event poster with Di Luca, Simoni and Basso; stage map

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Monday, February 23, 2009

Gran Fondo Dolomiti Stars 2009

There is news regarding the Gran Fondo Dolomiti Stars. The event has now been moved from May to September (13 September) in order to have more favorable weather and when participants will have more KMs under their legs. The granfondo will also now begin and end in Arraba.

The Dolomites are fantastic for cycling. If you can't get an entry to the gran fondo Maratona dles Dolomites this is an excellent alternative. The gran fondo route will be 135 km and will include the Duran, Staulanza, Giau and Falzarego passes (ouch!), while the medio fondo of 70 km will climb the Giau and Falzarego passes.

Registration for the event has already opened, the official website is:

Photos: event photos

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Vincenzo Nibali Meets American Fans

Vincenzo Nibali, who hails from Messina, Italy, was dwarfed by wild American fans at the Tour of California. In the final stage from Rancho Bernardo to Escondido he finished second to Franck Schleck. In the general classification he finished 6th.
1. Levi Leipheimer
2. David Zabriskie
3. Michael Rogers
4. Jens Voigt
5. Thomas Lovkvist
6. Vincenzo Nibali
7. Lance Arsmstrong

Rinaldo Nocentino was the winner of stage 7:


Photos: Nibali, Schleck and fans during last stage; Rinaldo Nocentini on the podium after stage 7

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

Campagnolo Gran Sport & Regina

Campagnolo Gran Sport derailleur with a gold Regina freewheel mounted on a Hetchins with curly chainstays. Striking.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

Totò al Giro d'Italia

"Totò Al Giro D'Italia" is an Italian comedy filmed in 1948. The story line of the film is that Totò falls in love with the beautiful beauty pageant contestant Doriana. However, she agrees to marry him only if he wins the Giro d'Italia. To do this Totò has to win the Giro against Coppi, Bartali, Schotte, Kubler, Bobet, Magni and others, all of which are actually in the film.

In this portion of the film Totò, wearing the Benotto jersey, presents himself at the start to receive his race number; he is preceeded by Coppi and Bartali. At the registration Coppi is on his left and Bartali to his right. In the racing sequence Coppi, Bartali, Schotte, Kubler, Bobet, and Magni all appear.

Since the film was made in 1948 all the bikes are "period correct". I'm not sure if they are the actual bikes Bartali, Coppi, etc., would normally ride however. Anyone have an opinion?

Photos: movie poster

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Trivia from the Giro d'Italia, Part III (last)

298-the greatest number of starters, Giro of 1928

54-the least number of starters, Giro of 1912

430- the number of KMs of the longest stage, Lucca to Rome in 1914 won by Girardengo

2,448 the number of KMs of the shortest Giro, the first Giro d'Italia in 1909

4,337 the number of KMs of the longest Giro, that of 1954

Photo: artwork of Girardengo winning the XIX edition of Milan-San Remo

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Nove Colli Randonnèe by Night

The Gruppo Ciclistico AIR of Santarcangelo di Romagna (Rimini) has organized a nighttime randonnèe following the exact 205 km course of the Gran Fondo Nove Colli (nine hills). The Gran Fondo Nove Colli is Italy's largest cycling event, in part because of its start in the home town of Marco Pantani, attracting 11,000 participants. The "Randonnèe By Night sulle strade della Nove Colli", "Memorial Dario Beltrambini", is limited to 300 participants.

The route is challenging in daytime, riding it at night......oh my. The climbs:

Event details for the Randonnèe By Night sulle strade della Nove Colli:
Date: 23 May 2009
Statrt 7:00pm
Cost: Euro 10
Distance: 205 Km
Course: traditional long course of Gran Fondo Nove Colli
Elevation gain: 3000 - 4000 mt
Information: Paolo Bronzetti cell. 335 1433459
Subscription online at

Compliments to the Gruppo Ciclistico AIR for organizing a unique event.

Photos: Gruppo Ciclistico AIR

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Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Campagnolo 11 Speed Warranty Extension to 4 Years

ATTENTION: Since I wrote this piece yesterday I have been informed that Campagnolo 11S is already warrantied for 4 years: (
The info below was based upon a news release on 18 February from Campagnolo advising of the possibility to extend the warranty of 11S gruppos from 3 to 4 years. This same information now also appears at (same text as news release)

Campagnolo has announced a warranty extension from 3 to 4 years if you register your 11 speed gruppo. Here are the announcement details:


We congratulate the new owners of the Campagnolo 11 Speed!

Owners of the Campagnolo 11 Speed drivetrain have the chance to extend their warranty from 3 to 4 years by simply registering on the website

1. Go to 11 Speed Owner website
To extend the warranty, register on the site

2. Enter the codes
Enter the unique code provided by the dealer at the moment of purchase or alternatively the product codes and the serial numbers of the components of the Campagnolo 11 Speed drivetrain. On the site you will find a simple guide for identifying them correctly.

3. Fill in the form
Filling in the registration form is fast and simple.

4. Years of warranty
When you have completed the registration procedure the warranty will automatically be extended by a fourth year. By logging in you can print your certificate of warranty whenever you want.

By registering on the website the owners of the Campagnolo 11 Speed drivetrain also join the exclusive Campagnolo Club 11 and will be kept constantly abreast of all the Campagnolo novelties and initiatives for the 11 speed. The only condition: the Campagnolo 11 Speed drivetrain has to be composed by crankset, Ergopower controls, rear derailleur, front derailleur, chain and sprocket set.

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Monday, February 16, 2009

Brooks Saddles (owned by Italy's Selle Royal)

Brooks was purchased by Italy's Selle Royal in 2003.

The Brooks firm, located in Birmingham, England, employs approximately 20 people in the manufacture of fine, handcrafted bicycle saddles. A full range of saddles are available in the categories of racing and mtb, trekking and touring, city and transport, and heavy duty.

Founded in 1866, Brooks was cast adrift in 2000 when parent Sturmey Archer collapsed under the weight of financial chicanery. A management buyout put things right and got the wheels turning again at Brooks. In 2003 Selle Royal bought the venerable Brooks firm and has embarked on a campaign of breathing new life into the revered brand while respecting the traditions that have made Brooks what it is. To its credit, Selle Royal not only respected the Brooks traditions but has also moved forward introducing new models and issuing limited editions.

Wall Bike,, has a good description of the Brooks line.

Above is a two part video, in English, showing how Brooks saddles are made. Very interesting.

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SMS SANTINI Celebrates 40 years

Italian cycling clothes manufacturer SMS SANTINI celebrates its 40 year anniversary this year. For more than 15 years Santini Maglificio Sportivo has been the official supplier and licensee of the UCI for the World Championships, the ProTour, the World Cup, and various European Championships. For 10 years they have been the official supplier of the Giro d’Italia leader jerseys.

"Rodella 2000" has filmed a video of founder and owner Pietro Santini in which he recounts the history of the company. The video, in Italian, has images of their design and production facility, autographed jerseys, photos, etc.

Photos: Simoni in the pink jersey (made by Santini), the shoot, youtube video

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Sunday, February 15, 2009

A Merckx Era Italian Ex-Pro in Sacramento

In its coverage of the Tour of California the Gazzetta dello Sport had the wonderful story of Giuseppe Ciccarelli (above, and 3rd fom left in second photo). The story takes place at the BIBA Restaurant in Sacramento the city where the Tour of California started Saturday with a prologue.

Here Mr. Ciccarelli, originally from San Remo, works as waiter. He reveals that he was a "gregario" (domestique), some 30 Kgs (66 pounds) and 40 years ago, for two seasons in 1969 and 1970 and rode in two Giro D'Italia on the Molteni team with Eddy Merckx.

He tells his stories by beginning with, "In my time....."

"In my time we wore wool jerseys that when rain soaked would drag against the rear wheel which is why we would put the water bottle in the front jersey pocket."

"In my time we would mix five espressos, a little bit of cognac, and a tablespoon of sugar in a glass bottle for psychological boost."

"Do you remember the Savona stage of the Giro when the "Cannibale" (Eddy Merckx) tested positive? In my time I knew him well, he didn't take anything. Remember that in those days if a rider could not get replenishment from the team car they would take a bottles from fans. I believe there was something in one of those bottles."

"In my time they unloaded me from the team after two years, after making promises that were never kept."

"I became a waiter on a ship, fell in love, and disembarked in San Francisco in 1975. Later I came to Sacramento. I'll go back to visit Italy when I am 62 years old."

Concluding his story, Mr. Ciccarelli said, "I will not be going to see the prologue today because it would be too nostalgic."

(ed. note: if I visit Sacramento I'll definitely be heading to BIBA Restaurant, 2801 Capitol Avenue,, to enjoy an Italian dinner and good cycling stories.)

Photos: from Gazzetta dello Sport story; from BIBA website showing also Ms. Biba Caggiano, 2nd left, who was born in Bologna and opened the BIBA Restaurant in 1986.

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1909 Giro d'Italia History

The first Giro d'Italia was organised in 1909 and was composed of 8 stages with a total distance of 2448 kilometres. This first Giro d'Italia took place from the 13th to the 30th of May 1909 and was won by the Italian rider Luigi Ganna.

At the start of this first "Corsa Rosa", at 2.53AM on 13 May, there were 127 riders, all Italian except for 4 French riders. Only 49 of them finished in Milan. According to the criteria we currently apply to cycling races, the first Giro would have been won by John Rossignoli 24 seconds ahead of Carlo Galetti and 50 seconds ahead of Luigi Ganna. Only in 1914 did the general ranking begin to be based upon on the total time added up on all stages.

In 1909 the stages were as follows:

1 Milan (Milano) - Bologna (397 km)

2 Bologna - Chieti (379 km)

3 Chieti - Naples (Napoli) (243 km)

4 Naples (Napoli) - Rome (Roma) (228 km)

5 Rome (Roma) - Florence (Firenze) (347 km)

6 Florence (Firenze) - Genova (294 km)

7 Genova - Turin (Torino) (354 km)

8 Turin (Torino) - Milan (Milano) (206 km)

The Giro d'Italia was created following the example of the Tour de France. While the Tour de France's goal was to boost the sales of the L'Auto newspaper (which has since become L'Equipe), the Giro d'Italia had the same goal but for the sports newspaper La Gazzetta dello Sport.

Where the Tour de France has its yellow jersey (based on the colour of the pages of the L'Auto newspaper), the leader of the general ranking in the Giro d'Italia wears a pink jersey since (maglia rosa) 1931 because the pages of La Gazzetta dello Sport are pink. The first pink jersey has been given to Learco Guerra.

The Giro d'Italia has since been organised every year, except for the two periods of World Wars: from 1915 till 1918 and from 1940 till 1945.

To celebrate the 100th anniversary of the Giro d'Italia the race will finish this year in Rome on Sunday, May 31st. The time trial course start and finish on the via dei Fori Imperiali and will pass such historical sites as the Porta Pia, the Piazza del Popolo, the Piazza Venezia and the Colosseum.

Photos: 1909 artist rendering from Lo Sport della Domenica del Corriere, first Giro announcement in Gazzetta dello Sport, Rome course map, aerial view of Rome, 100th anniversary logo.

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Saturday, February 14, 2009

Electronic Shifting

From the New York Times, published February 13, 2009:

Cycling Enters the Electronic Age With a New Gear-Shifting System

By Ian Austin

The bicycle, one of the world’s most resolutely human-powered machines, will join the long list of devices that have switched from the manual to the electronic when a new gear system makes its debut this weekend at the Tour of California.

Although the battery-powered derailleur by Shimano promises to bring ease and accuracy to changing gears by enabling riders to shift with a light touch to two electronic switches, traditionalists worry that it may erode the basic tenets of the sport.

“People choose bicycles precisely because a bicycle’s motion requires only human effort, and nothing could be more simple, independent and autonomous,” Raymond Henry, a cycling historian in St. Etienne, France, wrote in an e-mail message. “Any source of external energy, however weak, runs counter to this philosophy.”

Whether the gear system becomes the next iPod and redefines bicycle technology or ends up as the sport’s version of the eight-track tape will hinge on a number of factors, the most obvious being performance, reliability and cost.

Two earlier attempts at electronic gear changing by a French company, Mavic, often malfunctioned in rain. Another company, Campagnolo, has delayed bringing its version to market because of the economic downturn.

Shimano’s version, known as the Dura-Ace Di2 7970, is being used by three professional teams competing in California: Columbia High Road, Garmin Slipstream and Rabobank. About 10 riders will race with the system even though they have used it on only one or two training rides after receiving them late this week.

Bob Stapleton, the owner and general manager of Columbia, said many of his riders had doubts about using bicycles that could literally run out of power. The Di2 system has no manual override if its battery goes dead. That event can be an irritation or a disaster, depending on the terrain and what gear ratio the bike is stuck in. Shimano estimates the battery will last for about 1,000 miles per charge.

“Their careers can be made on the results from one race,” Stapleton said of his riders. “So they prize reliability over everything.”

Stapleton, an experienced amateur cyclist, has used the Di2 system extensively and is a convert.

“I think every high-end bike within three years will have this, maybe sooner,” he said, adding that the system also eliminates much of the maintenance required by mechanical systems.

A full set of components with electronic gears will cost about $1,250 more than the newest mechanical version, which sells for about $2,750. Upgrading an existing Shimano system is expected to cost about $2,200. The system will fit onto nearly all racing bicycles.

Later this year, Giant, the largest bicycle manufacturer in the world, will offer a bike designed to use only electronic parts for about $14,000, which includes the cost of Di2. If consumers fancy the device, it will likely follow the pattern of other new electronics and drop significantly in price over time.

Electronic gear-shifting technology has spent a long time in development. Prototypes of Mavic’s first system, the Zap, made a cameo appearance at the 1992 Tour de France and the company introduced its second attempt, the Mektronic, in 1999.

For much of this decade, both Shimano, which dominates bicycle parts the way Microsoft dominates computer software, and its venerable Italian competitor Campagnolo occasionally tested prototype systems on the bikes of pro riders. More often than not, the prototypes were devoid of trademarks, presumably to limit embarrassment if results proved as unfortunate as the Zap.

The Campagnolo and Shimano systems share the basic design of current mechanical derailleurs. That is, a parallelogram that moves the chain back and forth and, in the rear, two spring-loaded wheels to keep the chain taut.

Two paddle-shaped electronic switches that sit behind the brake lever allow riders to shift gears. Tapping either paddle lightly in Di2 sends an electronic signal through a wire to a small motor inside the derailleur, moving the body and thus the chain by turning a worm gear. Even Devin Walton, a spokesman for Shimano, acknowledges that when it comes to the rear derailleur, there is little or no difference in shifting between the electronic and comparable mechanical offerings from the company.

The gains are move obvious, however, with the front derailleur, which moves the chain between the two large, toothed rings on the bicycle’s crank. That is partly because the electronic front derailleur is able to make constant readjustments to reflect changes in the chain’s position caused by shifting with the more frequently used rear derailleur. That allows the electronic front derailleur to use a more efficient shifting mechanism, one that would drive riders to the point of distraction with fiddly readjustments on a mechanical system.

Campagnolo has faith in its electronic system and is waiting for an upturn in the economy before launching. “We’ve got extremely positive feedbacks concerning shifting quickness, precision and user friendliness,” Lerrj Piazza, a spokesman for Campagnolo, said.

Because cycling teams rely on sponsorship from companies like Shimano for their financial survival, several riders were reluctant to discuss their concerns about the system, which range from the prospect of battery failures to difficulty shifting gears using the small and very sensitive paddles while wearing gloves. But after a couple of training rides, George Hincapie of Columbia said he agreed with his team owner, Stapleton, about its merits.

“The shifting is amazing,” he said. “I was very impressed as soon as I tried it.”

The action of the electronic system is so effortless that, compared with mechanical levers, it leaves users feeling almost disconnected from the bike.

After trying the system, Jonathan Vaughters, the chief executive of Garmin Slipstream, anticipates that initially it will be most widely used on special bicycles used for time trials, races against the stopwatch, and triathlons. Vaughters, a former professional rider, believes that most of the two-second margin by which Chris Boardman won the opening time trial of the 1997 Tour de France was owed to his electronic Mavic derailleur. The device, which worked for that race’s 7.3 kilometers, allowed Boardman to maintain his aerodynamic position even while shifting.

If Di2 does prove to be reliable and is a success in the market, do not expect an automatic transmission next. Walton says that such a system, at least for racing bikes, would need to analyze a rider’s physical state and well as read his mind.

“There’s no way for the system to know when you’re about to sprint,” Walton said. “When you’re in competition, you have to be in control.”

Photo:: Italian magazine article on Campagnolo's electronic shifting system

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Friday, February 13, 2009

Five Years Without Marco Pantani

February 14, 2009, five years without Marco Pantani.

Photos: Gazzetta dello Sport: 1998 TdF, 1999 Giro d' Italia, 2000 TdF on Mont Ventoux, 2003 Giro

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EICMA Milan Changes Cycling Exhibition Format

The combined bike and motorcycle format of the EICMA Milan Bicycle and Motorcycle Exhibition, held in November of the last two years, has not been very popular with all of the cycling vendors. That exhibition had become more of a show with little opportunity for transacting business; EUROBIKE in Friedrichshafen, Germany, had become the place to do business.

Today the EICMA announced that the format is changing towards a 3-day bike only exhibition in September followed in November with the 5 day bike/moto show.

Photos: dates for the new exhibition in September, the Campy girls

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Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cinelli OPD, the End of the Road

I was hoping to eventually see the name of CINELLI return to the highest levels of pro racing. Unfortunately, the Italian Cinelli OPD team is finished before getting there. The team looked good in their black and white kits and matching bikes.

For a history of Cinelli, and Cino Cinelli, see:

Photos: team bike (wiht a nice Cinelli vintage "Laser" in the background), TTT Vuelta Mexico Leon-Guadalajara in September 2008, team kit

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Lazise, Bardolino, Garda, Torri del Benaco

Writing about the new Granfondo Città di Lazise yesterday brought back many fond memories. Lake Garda is such a beautiful lake to ride alongside with its sparkling waters, backdrop of mountains, and elegant lakeside towns. The early part of the route would take you from Lazise to Bardolino to Garda to Torri di Benaco before climbig in the the hills and later Monte Baldo.

Photos: looking south along the southern west coast of Lake Garda, the small sailboat harbor of Bardolino can be seen and beyond that would be Lazise; the fishing boat harbor at Bardolino, the town of Garda; the harbor at Torri del Benaco, an image of the lake.
Photos from the collection of the Hotel Veronello.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

1st Edition Granfondo Città di Lazise, 19 April

Two time Olympian gold medalist Paola Pezzo, and her Team Paola Pezzo, is the driving force behind the new Granfondo Città di Lazise to be held on Sunday, April 19, 2009.

Two routes of 88 and 141 km will be available. Both begin from Lazise, and head north hugging the scenic coastline to Torri del Benaco. At the center of town, off the main road, you turn right and climb towards San Zeno. This road offers spectacular views of the lake, has nice switchbacks and provides a good work out without being unduly difficult. The gran fondo riders will face two additional climbs, each much harder than the 1st as they climb Monte Baldo from east to west.

Riding anywhere near Lake Garda is a pleasure (except in August! when seemingly millions of vacationing Europeans descend upon all the lakeside towns). Wish I was going to be there...

The official event website is:

Paola Pezzo has a very nice bike shop in Bardolino, see:
Ride report to Lazise:
The view from the climb out of Torri del Benaco:
Photos: publicity poster, Paola Pezzo at the official presentation of the event on February 8th, Paola and her team before leaving on a test ride of the course on December 24th, course profiles, and course route map
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