Amateur racing in Italy

Questions about bike hire abroad and everything light bike related. No off-topic chat please

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TonyM
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

[quote ="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... :|[/quote]



Sorry I suppose something got „lost in translation“. I did not mean to be offensive, sorry if it came across like that.

What I meant is that of course you can turn anything into a race for sure. You can turn you ride with your friend into a race etc... And therefore you can ride a gran fondo as a race.

But when you are serious about racing you usually move into events which are solely intended to be used as a competition (vs. a gran fondo where many people just want to finish it). By this you usually enter some race series organized by your national association for cycling - which is approved by the UCI. In such races everybody see the events as a competition. In these races you move from category to category when you win some races or when you make some good results. You can not refuse it. And you can not race in a lower category etc... This is a very different system than a gran fondo where some people ride it as a race and some people ride it as an achievement etc... And the spirit is absolutely different. I can remember events where riders disapproves the presence of good racers (not pro) as the difference of level was too big and arguing that these people should race their race and leave the normal riders doing theirs.


My point to the OP is also to point out that the races in Western Europe (including Italy) are very different than in the North America in terms of experience, level and spirit and that if he has the required level he should try these as this is a good experience for him. Otherwise doing gran fondo will also be a good experience also.

I used to race in Western Europe a long time ago (and still have friends doing so) and now living in North America I do see big differences. Both have their pros and cons.

I used to race (Cat. Elite) and I used to do also gran fondo in Europe. So that‘s not the problem. But I never saw the gran fondos like a race. Sorry.

Cool down mate.
At the end do whatever you like and enjoy it.


(Feel free to PM me if you wish)

IchDien
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:23 am
Location: Veneto

by IchDien

TonyM wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:56 am

But when you are serious about racing

...


Cool down mate.
I am cool, but your tone is terrible. Why after saying some frankly bizarre things about granfondos are you now lecturing another Cat. Elite how the racing system works in the country he lives in? :noidea:

Honestly, IMHO my first post in this thread has been the most constructive bit of info to the OP so far; listing races that cover the entire ability spectrum seen as he never said what Cat he was, and now I'm just being told about how to get an FCI license and start competing?!

I give up, truly, I do.

I'm always in agreement with you elsewhere on the board so let's just let it pass.

by Weenie


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TonyM
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by TonyM

IchDien wrote:
I am cool, but your tone is terrible. Why after saying some frankly bizarre things about granfondos are you now lecturing another Cat. Elite how the racing system works in the country he lives in? :noidea:

Honestly, IMHO my first post in this thread has been the most constructive bit of info to the OP so far; listing races that cover the entire ability spectrum seen as he never said what Cat he was, and now I'm just being told about how to get an FCI license and start competing?!

I give up, truly, I do.

I'm always in agreement with you elsewhere on the board so let's just let it pass.
All good mate!
Let’s agree that we disagree on “racing gran fondos”.
Not a big deal IMHO. (Read my PM to you)

And now let’s see what the OP will do.
Hopefully he will give a feedback after his trip.

IchDien
Posts: 526
Joined: Mon Nov 05, 2012 12:23 am
Location: Veneto

by IchDien

He's not going to bother now; he's too jaded. :lol:

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micky
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Location: Vicenza
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by micky

otoman wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 12:27 am

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
150/200 people is really a small local event, I heard in Emilia Romagna for example they still do few events with 15euro or so, but not competitive (they give a start pack, pasta party etc).
Anyway you got fun and that's all that matter.

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otoman
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Location: Nashville

by otoman

Ha, man don't burst my bubble! That was basically a stage of the Giro (in my mind) :lol:
Age and treachery shall overcome youth and skill

joeyb1000
Posts: 211
Joined: Thu Mar 03, 2016 8:37 pm

by joeyb1000

So, here’s my report.
I didn’t get to any organized rides or races. There just wasn’t much in the area during my stay which was the first week of April. But, Como is a local cycling Mecca on the weekends. Packs of riders leave Como around 9AM and ride along the lake. You can just jump in.
Riding along the lake is relatively flat. Riding away from the lake is usually a long 4-5% climb. I only used the 32 once during the week. It’s pretty easy to find your way around, but riding from Lecco to Como can’t be done without knowing the roads of GPS.
Renting a bike is better than bring one. I got a brand new Dogma F10 for $500 for the week. I got it from Cicli Ferca, a high-end bike shop in town. There’s also HC Bike Tours, and I saw Como Bike Tours delivering a bike to my hotel.

Other notes:
I should have brought a rear light. There are a lot of tunnels, and it’s very hard for cars to see you.
There was a large temperature range during the day. It was often 50 degrees at 9AM, but could be in the low-70s by 1PM.
Riding up Ghisallo is a must do. I did it on Sunday. There were hundreds of riders at the church & Museum at the top.

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TonyM
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Joined: Thu Jan 22, 2015 4:11 pm

by TonyM

joeyb1000 wrote:
Fri May 10, 2019 5:43 pm
So, here’s my report.
I didn’t get to any organized rides or races. There just wasn’t much in the area during my stay which was the first week of April. But, Como is a local cycling Mecca on the weekends. Packs of riders leave Como around 9AM and ride along the lake. You can just jump in.
Riding along the lake is relatively flat. Riding away from the lake is usually a long 4-5% climb. I only used the 32 once during the week. It’s pretty easy to find your way around, but riding from Lecco to Como can’t be done without knowing the roads of GPS.
Renting a bike is better than bring one. I got a brand new Dogma F10 for $500 for the week. I got it from Cicli Ferca, a high-end bike shop in town. There’s also HC Bike Tours, and I saw Como Bike Tours delivering a bike to my hotel.

Other notes:
I should have brought a rear light. There are a lot of tunnels, and it’s very hard for cars to see you.
There was a large temperature range during the day. It was often 50 degrees at 9AM, but could be in the low-70s by 1PM.
Riding up Ghisallo is a must do. I did it on Sunday. There were hundreds of riders at the church & Museum at the top.


Good to read that you had fun! :thumbup:
Yes indeed a rear light is useful in the tunnels there. In some countries it is also mandatory (not sure in Italy).
Were there many non local riders on vacation or only local riders?

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micky
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by micky

As far as I know in the tunnels on the west side of Lake of Garda it's mndatory not just a light but also a reflective jacket.
I would guess similar would be for roads near Lake of Como with tunnels.

As for weather, right now it's very variable while now (May) it should be warming up and more dry.

Berzin1
Posts: 127
Joined: Wed Jul 20, 2016 9:35 pm

by Berzin1

IchDien wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 1:40 pm
TonyM wrote:
Fri Mar 01, 2019 2:56 am

But when you are serious about racing

...


Cool down mate.
I am cool, but your tone is terrible. Why after saying some frankly bizarre things about granfondos are you now lecturing another Cat. Elite how the racing system works in the country he lives in? :noidea:

Honestly, IMHO my first post in this thread has been the most constructive bit of info to the OP so far; listing races that cover the entire ability spectrum seen as he never said what Cat he was, and now I'm just being told about how to get an FCI license and start competing?!

I give up, truly, I do.

I'm always in agreement with you elsewhere on the board so let's just let it pass.
Maybe gran fondos shouldn't cater to desperate riders who are trying to get a contract or get noticed by a coach. Maybe that's not in thre spirit of the event.

Besides, don't riders like this have enough events on the calendar? Sometimes gran fondos get ruined by type-A personality wankers, so maybe they should stay away.

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