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Marmotte 2011 - The Full Story
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Guiness



Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Posts: 887


Location: County of Kent

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:31 am    Post subject:  Reply with quote

SR - you mention the those lovely Trinkie Ladies. Mrs G has come across them. Or more to the point mates of hers have. On a sportif in Italy. Mrs G used to be a member of London Dynamo when we lived in London and she had mates in another cycling club near Twickenham who take part in an annual trip to do La Pinarello.

Mrs G has provided me with an extract posted on a club forum of a friend's friend that did this. Can't just give you a link to it as access is denied so I've cut and paste it for you. BTW the "Jason and Lisa" in this post are not Mr and Mrs G! Though the mentioned "Lisa" is Mrs G's mate.


La Pinarello Cycling Marathon 2010 - 18th July 2010


Alora...

La Pinarello Cycling Marathon. Finally, I made it over to Italy, wearing my TCC colours rather than G.S. Henley. My participation from last year was long overdue!

But....

... At 3 am on Sunday morning, 3.5 hours before the start time, the mother of all electrical thunder storms sounded like the equivalent of a sky-filling, angry, gnashing, snarling, mechanical car wash, approaching in filmic suspense-building slow motion. The continental window shutters on my hotel window being smacked against the walls by the storm winds completed the horror scene script. In my half-awake state, I thought "My, those Americans are quite loud in getting their bikes out of the garage". Then it dawned on me. I had woken up to the dreaded 'Rain' - not just a small shower either - a full bodied tempest with lightning and torrential rain.

I got out of bed and met up with the others from TCC who I was doing this event with. Barbara, Gail, Ray, Denise, Zoe, Lisa, Jason and I left our Castelcucco abodes at 5.15 am and drove to Treviso dodging the fallen trees and wondering what on earth we were doing even venturing out. En route we got a call from John who was staying at Asolo to say there was no way he was riding in a thunderstorm so he was out. He had flown all the way from Canada to take part in this but was now out!

So we arrived and noted several people seemed to be preparing for the start but we all skulked in the car park listening to the rain getting harder and harder. We knew these decents were risky in the rain so none of us were keen. BUT, high praise is awarded to Barbara who countered that we wouldn't stop for rain in the UK and pointed out that there is a bit of blue sky in the distance. Phew.

So we decided to give it a go and when we got to the start, we found 'thankfully' that the organisers had sensibly delayed the start so they could safety check the course, cancelled the 'grandfondo' (the long route) with the dreaded 'Via Capra' (the Goat) climb up the Mte Grappe and changed the 'medio' route to remove a dangerous descent off the Montello. Everyone was to now ride the mediofondo. For the statisticians, the modest 'medio' route included 1350 metres of climb and 132km of distance. The cancelled 205km 'Lungo' version was due to have 3250 m of altitude gain, the infamous Monte Grappa, (which appeared in the Giro this year) a goat-like scramble of 1730 metres by itself. http://www.lapinarello.com/granfo...g-race/granfondo-cycling-race.php

As 9am arrived, the sun had come out to play and off we went. Hurray! I have to say everyone was riding very cautiously and slowly. Most riders decided to treat this more as a jolly outing rather than a full-on race given the grandfondo was now cancelled. As the roads were now drying and trees and debris were removed, normal riding paces resumed and each TCC member took off to ride at their own pace. I enjoyed the climbs albeit as we were all set off together there was a bit of congestion issue going up and so no-one could really go at speed. Boo hoo. The first food-stop was heaving too - well, everyone was at the start line for 6.45am, so they were quite a few hungry cyclists by the time they got there! The flats were brilliant too. Huge "trains" to pull you along. The Italians are great. Such skill and smoothness. I have, though, realised that I am a better climber than a "Rouleur" as it is easy to get sucked into faster groups and end up tired when the climb starts. I seemed to get "spat out" in some of the very fast all-male trains but if there was a mixed train, the pace was much better. Getting sucked into the all-male faster trains meant by the time I did get to the final climbs, it would take a little while to regain my rhythm and find my climbing legs.

I spoke to quite a few people whilst out and about on those climbs (yes, I could go harder, but I decided to just enjoy it). I met some cyclists from Greece (go "Podilatres") and kept on being chatted up by the Pinarello boys - who were all too keen to help - so I quickly whizzed off.   I think they were a little bit surprised at how fast I can go if I put the power down. I also met some ex-international faces and guests and the 'Tinky Lady' Pinarello Cyclng Team. Their kit is very questionable... a little too flash for my liking. They seem to be surrounded by their own personal bodyguards! http://www.tinkyladiespinarello.com/video

I made it back to Treviso in a time of 4 hours and 31 mins and as the TCC team arrived it was good to see that we were were all in good spirits - catching up over some food in the pasta/beer tent. Apparently John had joined in en route and had a fun ride and also Denis had been spotted but had taken a tumble on the first descent and had road rash to prove it - ouch! Lisa got a broken spoke so her 8th attempt at La Pinarello was ended by being brought back in the broom wagon. Poor thing. All in all, a fun day despite the dubious start! Of the 2254 people who completed (many decided not to turn up given the rain and also others who were present decided to leave once the grandfondo was cancelled) 191 of them were ladies. Zoe was a fabulous 23rd out of the 191 ladies with her time of 3:59:50.30 (The fastest woman at 3.32.03.10.). Well done everyone!

The next day, a few of us decided to go for a short-ish ride out into the mountains. The sun was out in full force and the scenary was stunning. On Tuesday, we decided to climb Monte Grappa via one of the nine routes available. All of them are difficult, challenging, and for experienced climbers and descenders only. The red route from Romano is well-traveled and there are a number of bars and restaurants along the way. The blue road from Caupo (a frazione i.e.section, of the comune of Seren del Grappa) on the north side of the mountain, on the other hand, is lonely, atmospheric, and more beautiful. This is the route we went up.

The grey route was paved only within recent years. The yellow route, from Possagno to Bocca di Forca, has been rated the third hardest climb in Italy, with an average gradient of 11.44%. This route too, has garnered its fair share of attention: even the Giro d'Italia commentators have discussed it during stage broadcasts. The purple road from Valle San Liberale to La Vedetta/Salto della Capra, reopened after being cleared of a landslide, is also extremely difficult. It has attracted the attention of climb connoisseurs. This route was the one chosen by the organizers for the grandfondo. It is a monster that is even harder than the one that was tackled by the riders in the Giro d'Italia! Even experienced, expert local riders advise against descending on these roads. They are not only steep, but narrow, with tight, tricky hairpins - very technical and demanding. In addition, the foliage overhead creates shadows which can hide holes and rough pavement, leading to some rude surprises.

We climbed Mte Grappa via the blue route from Caupo, as Jason was aiming to do all nine routes and make sure he got stamps for each one. He only had this one and the hardest route to do (with some 20% climbs!) - which he was going to attempt on Thursday. So, Lisa, Jason and I started climbing (immediately we found ourselves on a major climb. It feels relentless and never ending, but the scenery makes it worthwhile!). I think I did it in about 2.5 hours. Just a leisurely/comfortable pace - not going mad. A well deserved cafe and cake was savoured at the top! Even though it was hot going up, once we reached the top it was very cloudy so I could not get a full view of the scenary below. Eventually there was a small break in the cloud cover and we could see tantalising glimpses of the sunny valley below. I loved the climb. I even (suprisingly!) loved the decent! I would definitely do it again. Maybe go back one year and do all nine routes...

See: http://www.biciveneto.it/Resources/Grappa%20routes.jpg

I would also push harder too. I want to do the long route (when it is offered!). I think I don't currently ride outside of my "comfort zone" which is not how my rowing mind works! If I am still going up hills and speaking to lots of people, that is not a good sign...  Fun and social though.

Results:
Jason - 3:54:11.10
Denis - 3:54:36.00
Ray - 3:58:18.40
Zoe - 3:59:50.30
Gail - 4:27:57.20
Martha - 4:31:36.20
Denise - 4:42:29.10
Barbara - 5:18:07.10
Lisa - DNF = Mechanical

Ciao!
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SlowRower



Joined: 22 Nov 2006
Posts: 4990


Location: 62 West Wallaby Street, Wigan

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 7:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Guiness wrote:
SR - I thought you might also have chosen the handlebars to assist with the position for your back  but I might be wrong here... You seem a little  straighter than say Bart?


I got the bike at the start of 2010. I wanted something that could manage road riding/hill climbing and not be as rankly stupid as my mtb was and also off-roading with the kids.

Stan is good for both. He's basically a road bike with flat bars and disk brakes. He's not ideal for both disciplines, but as I want both covered on holidays, a compromise was required, as the bike rack struggles with 4 bikes as it is!

I never thought of drop-bars, as I did some turbo sessions late 2009 on my old road bike and had to pedal sitting up for 10 minutes until I could actually bend over far enough to hold the bars. Sad

The Marmotte idea came after I'd bought Stan, and I was reluctant to stump up for a "proper" bike as I never really thought I'd make it to the start line. This time last year, my longest ride was 5 hours, and I'd spent the last hour of that in back-induced agony. I didn't think I'd be able to manage the required training, to be honest.

I must confess that I have my eye on a variety of carbon-framed sportive specific steeds for my letter to Santa...Smile
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Guiness



Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Posts: 887


Location: County of Kent

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlowRower wrote:


The Marmotte idea came after I'd bought Stan, and I was reluctant to stump up for a "proper" bike as I never really thought I'd make it to the start line. This time last year, my longest ride was 5 hours, and I'd spent the last hour of that in back-induced agony. I didn't think I'd be able to manage the required training, to be honest.


Good on ya mate. This is one hell of a story! Well done!

SlowRower wrote:


I must confess that I have my eye on a variety of carbon-framed sportive specific steeds for my letter to Santa...Smile


As Santa. I hope he is nice to you this year. I put in my request for the Dogma but I think Mrs G had a word with Mrs Santa as there was no sign of it under the tree last Xmas. Maybe I was a naughty boy. Must behave. Embarassed
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SlowRower



Joined: 22 Nov 2006
Posts: 4990


Location: 62 West Wallaby Street, Wigan

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

G - You don't want a Dogma. They are slow, if my mental credit and debit ledgers of overtakings involving Stan and Dogmas are anything to go by. Smile

Wiliers and Colnagos on the other hand...Smile
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Guiness



Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Posts: 887


Location: County of Kent

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlowRower wrote:


Wiliers and Colnagos on the other hand...Smile


Got my son an ex demo Wilier. He loves it. Good choice. Which one have you got your eyes on?
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Bartali



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 13461


Location: Bartalishire

PostPosted: Sun Jul 10, 2011 10:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

One like this .....?

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Guiness



Joined: 03 Nov 2009
Posts: 887


Location: County of Kent

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 4:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SlowRower wrote:

Wiliers and Colnagos on the other hand...Smile



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Fontfroide



Joined: 07 Apr 2008
Posts: 6062


Location: Herault, France

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Somebody mention Colnagos.  Anyone else ride one on the forum, maybe we can bond over PMs.

From all I have heard, I would buy a used Colnago B-40, if I listened well.  But I don't need another bike.
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Bartali



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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Location: Bartalishire

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:52 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

FF - Yup ... fixed wheel Colnago in Saronni WC colours.  2000km on it this year to date.
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gerry12ie



Joined: 08 Jul 2009
Posts: 5147


Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 7:24 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I stumbled across this when browsing - isn't it gorgeous?



http://www.classicrendezvous.com/Italy/Colnago/colnago.htm
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Bartali



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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Location: Bartalishire

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 9:20 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Colnago, Cinelli, Campagnolo Super Record (record f/mech?), Vittoria tubs, concor saddle ... it doesn't get much more classic 80s bike porn than this!!
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Slapshot 3
Site Admin


Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 6542


Location: Scotland

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 10:50 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Bianchi.....
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gerry12ie



Joined: 08 Jul 2009
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Location: Dublin

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fontfroide wrote:

From all I have heard, I would buy a used Colnago B-40, if I listened well.  But I don't need another bike.


Conventional wisdom dictates that you do need another bike.  Buy the bike Smile
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Bartali



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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Location: Bartalishire

PostPosted: Mon Jul 11, 2011 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Spott on Gerry  Smile Smile

SS - As I remember it Bianchi frames were in relative decline by the 80's?  Not a lot of Kudos attached to what had become a fairly mass produced frame??  Now if you could lay your hands on a late forties early fifties frame frame ... that would be worth its weight in gold!!

Colnago, De Rosa and Pinarello were the flashy frames in my part of the world in the eighties ... which is why I had a Battaglin I guess!!
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Guiness



Joined: 03 Nov 2009
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Location: County of Kent

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 4:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

gerry12ie wrote:
I stumbled across this when browsing - isn't it gorgeous?



It is lovely!
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MAILLOT JAUNE



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
Posts: 2556



PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:42 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ooooooohhhhhh!!!!!!!!! That's just the type of bike I've been looking for, except for the gold handlebar tap and Colnago logo. I just want a modern version of this. It's bare metal - not painted silver, right? What's it made of and how can I get my hands on something similar?????

I've been considering the Canondale Cyclo-cross CAADX 105. It's had good reviews as an all-rounder bike and from the pics it looks like bare metal, or laquered bare metal. Seroiusly considering it. Must try and get round to my LDBS (Local Dutch Bike Shop) to have a chat with them.
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maffy



Joined: 11 Jun 2007
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Location: twixt tyne and that other stream over there

PostPosted: Tue Jul 12, 2011 11:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MAILLOT JAUNE wrote:
Ooooooohhhhhh!!!!!!!!! That's just the type of bike I've been looking for, except for the gold handlebar tap and Colnago logo. I just want a modern version of this. It's bare metal - not painted silver, right? What's it made of and how can I get my hands on something similar?????.


chromed loveliness. increasingly difficult to find. most chrome-plating of that era will have flaked off in an expensive way. nothing wrong with the yellow benotto tape. nobody really bothers with coloured outer cable much anymore, more's the pity.
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MAILLOT JAUNE



Joined: 06 Oct 2006
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

OMG! Chromed, you say???? Sheesh! I've got an 11 year old Mini Rover with Chrome bits and bobs and they are definitely struggling, but, fortunately not peeling yet.......
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Guiness



Joined: 03 Nov 2009
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Location: County of Kent

PostPosted: Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

New meaning to those infamous Tinky Pinkies...?!


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