Sunday, March 8, 2015

Local team season starts with Raduno San Quirico.

The local team season started today with the year's first raduno.  Raduno's are a semi competitive event, where teams get points based on number of participants and distances ridden.  We ended up with a trophy, but I have no idea where in the standings we were.  It was really fun, and on the way to the first real climb of the day through Luiano, it was great to hang with the lead group and really crank it out through Tavernuzze past Falciani with a group of around 70.  With that many, we really do own the road.  Of course, the first climb breaks up the group, and as I am mostly a climber, I stayed pretty close to the lead, passing around 30 people on the way up.  At the top, at the turn off for Montefiridolfi, we regrouped with the rest of our team members, so being with the lead group was over, but fun while it lasted.  There were 3 from the team in the lead group, which is good for us.

We regrouped again in Montefiridolfi, then again in Tavernelle and Marcialla, where the control point for the long course was.  We were fighting a fair amount of wind again, but to this point is was pretty contained by being in the woods or was mostly a tail wind.  Well, after marcialla, it really started kicking us around.  Either a very strong head or side wind, both were very difficult.  When it was a side wind, trees would give you a great little break, but as soon as you were in the open the gusts would hit you and you literally were moved 4 feet to the side while simply hoping to hang on to the bike.  This being the 4th day in a row with quite strong winds, I am ready to say enough.  Riding home after the pasta party with Luca, we stopped at a traffic light and a gust hit us, again almost knocking you over.  I said, at least I know that there will be no wind in the apartment.

Great course, beautiful views, and for the first time this year, riding with hundreds of people in a wonderful event.  Fun to be a part of it.  While at the nice pasta party at the end, where you also received a bottle of sparkling wine, a couple of guys got a picture sent to their phones from a team member who was doing the granfondo associated with the pro race strada blanche in the Siena area.  A picture of Andrea Volpi with Cancellara looking like pals.  Great picture.  I am ready for a nap (ripostina in Italian as my teammates told me when I said I would go home and sleep), as the wind also seems to really tire me out.  97.0 kilometers in 4:07 to average 23.6 kph with 1408 meters climbed.  Great start to the season!

A couple pictures while waiting to regroup in Montefiridolfi, at 
the decision point for long or short course.  6 of us decided on the
long course, including Agnese, pictured here.  She was to only female
to do the long course.  Bravi Agnese!

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