Day 1 – Giro d’Sardinia Camp 2011

The Giro d’Sardinia is a 7-day, international, amateur stage race on the beautiful Italian Island of Sardinia. 241 start the long version of race. Over the week we would cover 554 Kilometers (344 miles) 5369 meters (17614 feet) of climbing. Our team included retired pro racer, Max Lelli, a 14-time Tour de France racer.

Action packed trip so far. This is the first chance that I’ve had to start writing about it (Day 4 and 5). Our trip includes Emanuele Bianchi, a native Sardinian, Bill Draper, Matt Grosspietsch, Ryan Aydelott and myself. We are also joined by Max Lelli and a couple of local Max Lelli team members for the Giro d’Sardninia.

Day 1

It is always a challenge to travel to Europe just because of the long duration of the trip and losing a full night of sleep while flying. My travel went really smoothly and our entire group (including myself, Bill Draper, Matt Grosspietsch, Ryan Aydelott and Emanuele Bianchi) arrived at the Rome airport pretty close together on Thursday morning (April 21) and Max picked us up in his Max Lelli team van and transported us to his place, Il Raduno, about 2 hours away in Tuscany.

One at Max’s place we ate a great lunch prepared by his wife, Michela and then set up our Max Lelli bikes and went for a nice little 73K ride with 3800 feet of climbing.

The highlight of the ride was hitting the Marco Pantani HCTT route. This 5.5K race route has a maximum grade of 25%. This was such a favorite ride of Marco Pantani that he bought a house near the top of this hill so that he could ride it as often as he wanted. The road is so steep that it has grooves cut into the cement surface the entire way, making for a rough ride. Last year we were unable to ride this route as each day we put it on the agenda the roads were wet and the road is so steep that it cannot be climbed when wet. It was good to be able to complete this bit of unfinished business from last year. I had a 39×25 and struggled up the steepest part at around 5 mph!

The weather was perfect our first day, low 70’s and lots of sunshine. This was a perfect way to start our trip.

Dinner was again at Max’s place and then we all slept very well after a long two days since leaving Chicago.

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