Amateur racing in Italy

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joeyb1000
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by joeyb1000

I’m going to spend a week in northern Italy (Como) at the end of March. Is there a source for information on events like Masters races or Grand Fondos?

by Weenie


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TonyM
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by TonyM

If you have a valid UCI road cycling license go for it! Racing in Europe is pretty much different than in North America.

https://strada.federciclismo.it/it/


IchDien
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by IchDien


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micky
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by micky

Rent a car to move around and you will have plenty of options.

ultyguy
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by ultyguy

I think you’ll prob find the ‘granfondos’ competitive enough in Italy Image. Do try and start near the front if you can though, it makes a big difference.

http://www.granfondo.it/gran-fondo/list/


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parajba
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by parajba

You can also look up the “gare in circuito” which are crits.

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otoman
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by otoman

ultyguy wrote:I think you’ll prob find the ‘granfondos’ competitive enough in Italy Image. Do try and start near the front if you can though, it makes a big difference.

http://www.granfondo.it/gran-fondo/list/


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I had a ton of fun doing a small gran fondo in Italy. The one I did was out of Pienza in Tuscany. Hard racing at the front and a different style of racing than in the US. People are much happier to sit on your wheel, a bit more cut throat style than US. Then a great spread of food afterwards with a bottle of wine and a bottle of olive oil in the swag bag. All that for a 10€ race fee. Lots of fun. Totally recommend it.
Age and treachery shall overcome youth and skill

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micky
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by micky

A granfondo for just 10euro must have been 15 years ago or so.
Now the average cost is around 35/40, even for smaller events.

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TonyM
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by TonyM

otoman wrote: I had a ton of fun doing a small gran fondo in Italy. The one I did was out of Pienza in Tuscany. Hard racing at the front and a different style of racing than in the US. People are much happier to sit on your wheel, a bit more cut throat style than US. Then a great spread of food afterwards with a bottle of wine and a bottle of olive oil in the swag bag. All that for a 10€ race fee. Lots of fun. Totally recommend it.

A gran fondo is not a race.....


But I agree the gran fondos in Italy have a very different atmosphere than for example in Austria...At least the ones that I did a long time ago...





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otoman
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by otoman

micky wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:58 pm
A granfondo for just 10euro must have been 15 years ago or so.
Now the average cost is around 35/40, even for smaller events.
It was June 2015. I slapped my 10 Euros down, they gave me a fabric, used number and a swag bag. We lined up in the Pienza piazza, probably 150-200 riders of all abilities. A starting gun went off. There was a finish line with banner, a podium ceremony and awards afterwards and it was part of some regional race series.

Sounds like a race to me :D
Age and treachery shall overcome youth and skill

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TonyM
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by TonyM

otoman wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:27 am
micky wrote:
Thu Feb 28, 2019 10:58 pm
A granfondo for just 10euro must have been 15 years ago or so.
Now the average cost is around 35/40, even for smaller events.
It was June 2015. I slapped my 10 Euros down, they gave me a fabric, used number and a swag bag. We lined up in the Pienza piazza, probably 150-200 riders of all abilities. A starting gun went off. There was a finish line with banner, a podium ceremony and awards afterwards and it was part of some regional race series.

Sounds like a race to me :D
Wow that was a good price! :thumbup:
Many gran fondo in Europe have now however thousands of participants (and many different distance) and the pricing increased also dramatically...

But no a gran fondo is a gran fondo. And a race a race. Go to a Elite or Cat 1. race in Europe and you will see the difference :mrgreen: But if you felt the "race feeling" that's all good. Biking is also about having fun and being happy 8)

IchDien
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by IchDien

TonyM wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:46 am

But no a gran fondo is a gran fondo. And a race a race. )

Hmm, every granfondo I've done here has most certainly been raced by this countries highest level non-pro teams...in fact they even have their own starting corridor / block at the very start of every single one to stop us mere mortal local racing teams (2nd block) getting in the way of things. The usual granfondo riders can be anywhere from block 5 to block <100.

I get what you mean though; for 98% of people a granfondo is not a race...but if you think granfondos here aren't raced, well I don't know whether you've been at the actual front end of one in Italy.

Then again, as part of a yearly granfondo league run by Pinarello we only do the most prestigious ones so I wouldn't really know about how the minor ones are attended / ridden.
Last edited by IchDien on Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:18 am, edited 2 times in total.

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otoman
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by otoman

haha, fair enough. I probably had been sampling a bit too much of the local vino. It certainly felt race pace to me! :lol: There were teams lined up with whippet thin U23 looking guys at the front but there were certainly no corrals. Interesting. Sounds like these were more the local guys gettin' it on. They kicked my butt fo' sho! I finished with a bunch of guys that looked like me -- thinnish Cat 3 body type.

good info guys I appreciate it. Makes me want to get back over there again. Sorry to have derailed the thread a bit with my personal experience...
Age and treachery shall overcome youth and skill

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TonyM
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by TonyM

IchDien wrote:
TonyM wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:46 am

But no a gran fondo is a gran fondo. And a race a race. )

Hmm, every granfondo I've done here (and I've done a lot) has most certainly been raced by this countries highest level non-pro teams...in fact they even have their own starting corridor / block at the very start of every single one to stop us mere mortal local racing teams (2nd block) getting in the way of things. The usual granfondo riders can be anywhere from block 5 to block 50.

I get what you mean though...but if you think granfondos here aren't raced, well I don't know whether you've been at the actual front end of one in Italy ever...

Then again, I only do <7 of the most prestigious ones ever year as part of a Veneto race league, so I wouldn't know about the minor ones.
Yep even some pro or ex pros do some gran fondos. It is good for the gran fondo in terms of marketing and also good for these pro or ex pro to be on the news (and get some new contract sometimes). Some good racers do them also for fun or for training.

And yes a gran fondo or the local Sunday group ride can be raced. But in the (real) races or race series the level within a race is quite homogeneous compared to a gran fondo. Etc...You are not allowed to race in a inferior category etc...

For the record, I did a gran fondo in Italy (maratona dela dolomiti) many years ago starting in the very front due my race category level at that time...but I just exploded very soon as I am not a climber...LOL....I did the rest of the gran fondo at my pace then....I was not there to race anyway but to have the experience of riding in a big group on almost closed roads in the Dolomites. That was fantastic. Great people, great food and (relatively) easy climbs.

by Weenie


IchDien
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by IchDien

I don't quite get your point?

What is a ""real" race" (as you happen to put it) to you? The local crit? The local ITT? A track race? I mean, I also do those but...

Granfondos form part of our race series for the season...the same as the other twenty or so teams who have it as part of their race season. This year our race season (that we will eventually be ranked on as a team, as well as individual results) consists of:
  • Gf Città di Padova
    GF Segafredo Città di Asolo
    GF Internazionale Felice Gimondi Bianchi
    Corsa per Haiti
    Sportful Dolomiti Race
    GF Pinarello
    6XAndrea cronometro a squadre
So yes that is a TTT at the end. At the end there is a very large prize for the best team as well as individual categories. Miss Italia presented me with the individual winners jersey for my Cat on the podium three seasons ago when I was remarkably fit; it's in a frame on the wall...It is a Grand Prix, they are races to us; a race season.

I race and I do gran fondos...but for me I can't sit up in a granfondo like i've said, because unlike the 99% others doing it it forms part of my final season ranking...once again, it's a race for us and the other 200 or so in the first two blocks. If you think we're all drifting along enjoying the "great food" then the mind boggles; there's squad mates, friends and family up the road with musettes...in fact the majority of these "races" cater to us by having their own volunteers along route on the side of the road arms outstretched with fresh bidons.

Not that doing the Maratona is to be argued with, it's tough, but do you really know what you're on about with one experience of perhaps the most bloated and lethargic Italian granfondo there is? Especially when you say something as offensively denigrating as "yes you can race a GF just like your Sunday club ride" or as clueless as "Some good riders do them for fun or training" - a lot of riders are trying to get noticed by professional teams / make a name for themselves. Or "Yep Even Pros..." - every Pro I've seen ride a GF I've been in has quite rapidly abandoned after being photographed at the start line and first 5km whilst staying well out of the way of the front gruppo... I can't really let it slip despite completely sending the thread off its rails... :|

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