Monday, March 12, 2012

'The Poggio, The Final Judge'

I love the week leading up to Milan-San Remo. Here's an article from La Gazzetta '04 showing the finale of the race, and where the the attacks were made for some of the more interesting editions. That was, of course, before it turned into a sprinter's race. It still is the most exciting ten minutes of the year!

The climb of the Poggio is the most fascinating part of San Remo. Here, in the details, the development of the last difficulty of the Classic of Classics, and the points in which the great champions were able to make their decisive selections.

> slight grade
>> medium grade
>>> difficult grade

3.3km of climbing and descending, Poggio altitude 162m

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Dario Pieri Out Of Storage!

No, not a 'Pieri coming out of retirement to support Mario Cipollini's return' story that is so popular this week. My Dario Pieri BIKE came out of storage!

I like riding bikes with stories, and this one is no exception. It was ridden in the 2004 Paris-Roubaix by one of my favorite Saeco riders, Dario Pieri. You see, Dario finished second to PVP in the 2003 edition of what is certainly one of my top-two races (those paying attention to these fantastic scribblings knows that MSR is the other one!). He did that on a Silk Road bike much like this one, which is his third (second spare) machine from the year after.

Like many of us, Dario also had a tough time keeping his weight down in the winter but unlike us, his issues made it into the Italian cycling press!

In the summer of 2001, Dario came to the US for the Philadelphia race and I had the job of chauffeuring the guys to Bedford for a visit and some training. The two jokesters of the group, Dario and Salvatore Commesso (another favorite) convinced me to take them to the Cannondale motorcycle factory and then out to the test track, where Dario wowed with his skills and Toto was ridiculed for not being able to reach the ground with his size-48 legs!

It was that Philly edition where Dario retired early and was infamously snapped taking photos of the passing peloton... early in the race!

So I got Pieri out of storage, added some yellow to it and a new set of huge Dugast gravel road pounders in order to celebrate the coming two months of racing. There is NOTHING like being on the side of a cobbled 'road' with a set of spare wheels in hand, praying you won't have to use them, then racing to the next spot. It will be the first classic season that I'll miss in quite a few years, but I'll be watching, Duvel/Chimay/Leffe in hand OR ready to head out on this beauty to string together a series of gravel roads. Today's test ride netted a bloody knee. I guess there really isn't enough clearance to go mudding on this bike!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Imprese Eroiche

While I didn't get another 'heroic feat' by the judges last year, I did get a mention from the jury. I guess it didn't take me long enough to finish l'Eroica last year!

On another note, while I was busy mountain biking in Liguria, I happened to miss registration for 2012. A quick phone call to a friend and I was all set! I'll be back, with an older bike, fewer gears, and hopefully more miles in my legs!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Back On Fat Tires In Liguria!

This week finds me back in Italy with Cannondale's CFR and OverMountain athletes for a bit of training and presenting to mtb press. There happens to be some incredible riding involved as well, which puts me back on a mountain bike for the first time in a while. With trails like this, I have to say that I'm hooked again and looking forward to more... as soon as I recover!

Home for the week, Finale Ligure

What form... for a roadie

How could you pass up a photo with a legend?

Time to set a new standard in hairstyles