Wednesday, 16 April 2008

It's Italian Challenge Time !

This time next week I shall be enjoying the sun, sea and beaches of Northern Sardinia while savouring a gelatto. Well........maybe.

I'll certainly be resting up - It'd be a well earned rest though. If the programme is correct, by then I'll have done 350km of the Giro della Sardegna on my trusty steed, and there'll still be another 200km to tackle.

Blimey - What with having done a hill climb race next Wednesday morning, lounging around will definitely be on the agenda !

I'm just keeping my fingers crossed that I get through it without getting too broken. I chose to do the Giro as a substitute for doing a training camp - more about giving my trip a bit of direction. But after having heard the reports from others who have done this before, it seems like this "training camp" will be a straight up stage race - what a challenge. I've actually had to train to do this "training camp" !

I've just remembered the last time I did a stage race in Italy, it was no laughing matter. A real tough week in the Dolomites. The main hill climb of the week took us up one climb known locally as Gardeccia. It was only 6km long, but I have never felt so much pain when racing up a hill. It averaged 10%, with the last couple of km's at 15%.

The climb up to Monte Limbara next Wednesday will be similar - and here's me going back for more pain !!

Also, quite a few of the serious Italian Gran Fondo riders use this week-long stage race as their training camp. They will make mince meat of me ! And yes, I'm only talking about the girls !!

Oh well, if I can get through the races without embarrassing myself too much, and I still have the energy to eat an ice cream and lift up my glass of vino at the end of the day I will be happy !
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