Sunday, April 22, 2012

Giro del Trentino : Passo Pordoi

Blogger is proving difficult so posting some photos and report follows . Since the new system i am doing three times the work which will be explained later . Uploading Photos takes forever at 16bit/sec ! Before I start into the Friday’s events I should refer you all to the following article : Over the years I have had the distinct pleasure of riding alongside Francesco at the Giro d’Italia and the last occasion was in August 2011 in St Johann in Tyrol , at the World Masters , when we did a circuit , as reported in my Blog about Francesco . Whenever I come across him and thus ride , whatever the distance , I have learned , that you do not try to outride him on a climb . He takes no prisoners ! Friday started out overcast in Veneto Vittoria and the road took me through Agordo and I parked up to ride the Passo S. Pelegrino which I have ridden in past years . Arrived at the top in mist and as I had dressed for climbing in the sun when I started , I was not hanging around when a light snow started . Getting back to the car was pretty chilly as the temperature had fallen and the blood was no longer warm from the 13% + climbs on the way up . Passing through Moena I was alarmed to see no “ Route signs “ and was thinking that the Stage might have been shorten , but carried on through to Canezei , where I spotted some RAI TV vehicles , so carried on up to the finish area behind the Passo Pordoi hotels . Dismal and cold is the only way to describe the situation but having several hours to pass decided reading a book was not the way to go ! Dressed in cycling suit , I added the Fondriest Cycling Jacket and over the top a Wet/Windproof Light Jacket and gloves . Lots of those at the top were not surprised to see me head down although were questioning the lack of leg covering . On the way up Passo Pordoi I had noted the exit to Passo Sella , so decided that there was enough time to do the 7km climb to that pass , before heading down to Canazei . Luckily for me several Team Pullmans had pulled into the township awaiting the permission to drive up the pass . The Chauffeur of United Healthcare Team was kind enough to provide me with a coffee which warmed me up a little from the chilly descent . As I headed up I passed a local , who was making the climb . The lady told me she owns a hotel and does travel arrangements for her own clients . Not sure if she had moved into the area or had been educated elsewhere but I have yet to see any info from her , must have forgotten to “ google “ Skippydetour ” ! Left her to ride on and then decided another visit to Passo Sella was in order since there was time enough . Again it was snowy on the top so headed back for Pordoi and as I rode up the climb the Team Pullmans and Cars were streaming past . I had taken to the left side of the road since I wanted them to see me and to avoid getting caught up with their struggling to get around the sharp corners . Did not see any having to back and fill but a few had to slow to let the local Police authorities squeeze through as they were the only vehicles heading downhill at this time . Arriving at the top I found I had missed the banquet , that a coach load of Tifosi from Veneto , had enjoyed in my absence , but they were kind enough to provide Grappa , wine and the fillings for a few sandwiches . Missed out on the cakes that I had been eyeing as I left for my travels .
With a little time to spare I went and enjoyed the view on the commentary platform and watched the battle up the pass on their TV monitors . When the racers arrived in the finish area they quickly scattered to their Team Pullmans although I got a few shots of some of the Racers as they parked their bikes before heading into the warmth .
Later I caught up with Ivan Basso and Silvo Szmyd in the hotel after they had had a shower . Whilst awaiting them the Hotel was kind , and provided me with some Minestrone soup which went down a treat .
Gibo Simoni was in the bar and was happy to go outside so we could do some photos with his monument bearing a Carbon framed “ Willier bike “ with the wheels cemented into the plinth , to prevent souvenir hunters removing parts . Waste of a good bike if you were to ask me . So another Giro del Trentino is over and with a relatively unknown winner ! Some of you will wonder why I did the reports in this Blog , fact is , that I do not think any of the early favourites for both the Giro d’Italia and “ Le Tour ” are going to win this year ! Simon Gerrans has just as much chance as winning as Cadel . Sky are going to find that they will have to decide whether they want the Green or Yellow shirt . Radio Shack are backing the Schlecks but I fancy that Chris Horner would be a better bet for them , but that is me , and I do not have a Crystal ball !

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