Wednesday, August 27, 2014

MCipollini "NUKE" Revealed

SEE:  http://vimeo.com/102752495

Content for the Italian Cycling Journal is now based upon contributions from readers. Please contribute. Stories about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com.    

Friday, August 22, 2014

Climbing the Barricata

The area around Bassano Del Grappa is famous for being cycling heaven. A multitude of mountains to climb by bike can quickly fill ones itinerary, from Cima Grappa (and the 7 ways to ascend the mountain) to Foza, Conco, Cima Campo, etc.

This past week during a vacation there I was taken on a new mountain road, the Barricata (The Barricade). My Italian hosts didn’t quite prepare me for the ascent, just telling me that the road goes up, then flattens out a bit and then gets steep. Well OK.

My ride began on the road next to the Brenta River, and they dropped me off in Campolongo Sul Brenta as I wanted a few extra miles. They were going to start in Vastagna, up the road. Eventually we met up at the entrance to the Pista Ciclabile at the foot of the climb to the town of Enego.

From here we made our way to the Bici Grill, just about 5 kilometers down the road, a wonderful oasis for cyclists to grab a cappuccino and brioche, which we did.
Bici Grill

Then we continued on the bike trail until we turned off to start our ascent of Il Barricata. My friend and his wife took off their helmets as it was a hot day and he took off his shirt as well and stuffed it into his helmet. I did neither and began the climb, which starts off at about 3 or 4% grade.

Cesare explained that the road is somewhat new, and so steep that cyclists are not allowed to descent, only go up. Also that cars were not allowed on the road unless they were residents and had a permit..

With each hairpin turn I saw the now familiar signs that said Tornante 1, etc. But what they don’t tell you is how many there are. I know Enego is 17 and that Cima Grappa is 28. Enego takes me an hour and a 15 minutes and Grappa takes me 2.5 hours.

At turn 10 I was wondering how many more. And with each turn I kept wondering.

The last few kilometers were quite steep. (Looking it up later the last few kilometers were pretty much all over 14% grade. Steep indeed. In fact the average grade is 8% for the whole 9 miles. I think it took me 2 hours. I was ahead of my hosts by perhaps 10 or 15 minutes.

For the record there are 23 turns.

I took a photo and took in the sights across the valley. The Marcesina Valley. A few twisty roads and some farmhouse retreats for dining.

We stopped for a panino and then made the trip down to the town of Enego, and descended there – and followed the Brenta river road back to the car.

Cesare told me that this climb is one of the steepest in the area.

I believed him.


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Thanks to Doug R. for the information on this new climb.

Content for the Italian Cycling Journal is now based upon contributions from readers. Please contribute. Stories about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com.    

Friday, August 15, 2014

Robin Williams and Dario Pegoretti: The Comedian and the Bike Builder

http://online.wsj.com/articles/robin-williams-and-dario-pegoretti-the-comedian-and-the-bike-builder-1407970079

Photo: Above Category

Content for the Italian Cycling Journal is now based upon contributions from readers. Please contribute. Stories about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com.   

 


Monday, August 11, 2014

Goal: 400 Ascents of the Passo Gavia


Seventy-six year old Tarcisio Persegona, from Parma, has the current record of 392 ascents of the Gavia Pass and has no intention of stopping . His goal is to complete his 400th ascent by the end of the summer.

In 2013, Tarcisio made 45 ascents of the Gavia, and 19 times he rode both sides on the same day.

Here is a short review of the ascent from both sides, with photos: www.cycling-challenge.com/passo-gavia-both-sides

Here, in ICJ, is the story of the epic Gavia snow stage of the 1988 Giro d'Italia in which American Andy Hampsten, the second place finisher, became the overall race leader and went on to win the Giro: www.italiancyclingjournal.blogspot.com/2013/05/recalling-1988-giro-ditalia-hampstens.html

Photo: TuttobiciWeb

Content for the Italian Cycling Journal is now based upon contributions from readers. Please contribute. Stories about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com.   



Sunday, August 3, 2014

Rarity: the Campagnolo Tennis Racquet


In the 1974 Campagnolo catalog, No. 17, there is an image (above) on page 9 of a tennis racquet with this text:

"Campagnolo also produces articles for the gifts and sports trades. Among the former let us remember the  patented giant cork-screws permitting even the most resistant corks to be easily and safely extracted, and the nut-crackers, which do not break but do crack the nuts.

With the latter are now included tennis rackets made of special ultralightweight alloys."

In the past we have had blog entries about the corkscrews and nutcrackers. In this entry from 2010 we featured a rare gold nutcracker and mentioned that we had yet to ever see the tennis racquet mentioned int he 1974 catalog. We wondered if it actually existed.

This week the owner of such a racquet contacted me and has permitted me to use the photos of it. The owner wrote, "My husband and I owned a bicycle shop in Seattle called "The Cyclery" in 1973 and the racquet was given to us by Campy. It was never strung and used. It has the name Condor on it, has a white cover, was made in Italy, and has Campagnolo stickers on each side."

We'll reach out to Campagnolo to see if we can learn about the Condor branding.

If you use the photos please credit:
Italian Cycling Journal, http://www.italiancyclingjournal.blogspot.com/






Content for the Italian Cycling Journal is now based upon contributions from readers. Please contribute. Stories about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com.   

Saturday, August 2, 2014

PANTANI : The Accidental Death Of a Cyclist [2014] Full Length

On youtube here.



Content for the Italian Cycling Journal is now based upon contributions from readers. Please contribute. Stories about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com.   

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

2015 Giro d'Italia: First 3 Stages


Saturday 9 May – TTT Riviera dei Fiori 18km approx.
The opening stage will be the first Grand Tour stage to take place solely on cycle paths. Teams will race along the Riviera dei Fiori cycle path, which is built on a former coastal rail route, and gives panoramic views of the Mediterranean coast. Its rolling hills will create a fast race. Both ends of the course will be familiar to many riders; the annual Cipressa climb begins each March from San Lorenzo al Mare; and the stage’s finish line is also used by the Milan-San Remo spring classic route, which also begins in March.

Sunday 10 May – Albenga – Genoa 150km approx. – sprinters’ stage
This stage has been created to deliver an exciting sprint finish in Genoa, Liguria’s capital city. The course will run for 120km alongside the Riviera di Ponente before entering the historic, UNESCO World Heritage city, where riders will race four loops of a 7.5km circuit. The race will be held on the Aurelia road and in the valleys of the Savona and Genoa provinces. The organizers have also added a climb to Stella, birthplace of Sandro Pertini, one of Italy’s most beloved presidents and first recipient of the UN’s Otto Hahn Peace Medal.
Major areas crossed: Albenga, Finale Ligure, Savona, Stella, Varazze, Voltri, Genoa

Monday 11 May – Chiavari – La Spezia 185km approx. – GC contenders stage
Stage three will be the first to test the riders and identify the GC contenders. Riders will face a series of hills between the coast and the inland areas of Levante Ligure. The race will be held on the Cinque Terre road, which was hit hard by torrential storms in 2012. The route has been designed as a relatively gentle introduction to the mountain stages, with a continuous series of climbs and descents to La Spezia. There a short city circuit will be raced before the reaching its climax on the top of the Biassa climb. Riders expected to begin their attack 10km before the finish line.
Major areas crossed: Chiavari, Rapallo, Santa Margherita Ligure, Sestri Levante, Carro, Levanto, the Cinque Terre, La Spezia.

Content for the Italian Cycling Journal is now based upon contributions from readers. Please contribute. Stories about rides, granfondos, touring, having a good time cycling in Italy, Italian cycling history, racing, etc. are always welcome. Contact me at veronaman@gmail.com.