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Giro Delle Reggio Calabria Reliability Trial

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Given the extra low temperatures in Cambridge (and most of Europe) I decided to conduct my own reliability trial here in Italy. More specifically by riding the Giro Calabria, which is basically the part of Italy that makes up the toe of the boot. The race had been shortened by two stages to just a weekend's worth because of financial trouble (something that seems to be happening a lot here). This was a race of firsts for me, it was the first race that we travelled to with snow chains for the van (just in case, we never mounted them) and it was also the first time our team got to stay in the best hotel. The reason I know it was the best was because Lampre and Liquigas were there too, and they were the only protour teams at the race. It was a grim journey, but not as grim as last week:

The first stage started in the town of Reggio Calabria and headed north along the coast before climbing up to the finish. The coast road was easy but the climb was a very long, difficult, twisting drag - near the top we were all strung out in a line behind Liquigas, who set the pace for most of the weekend. The route snaked up and down after that, shedding more and more riders along the way. I got snipped off the back of a line of very fast riders on a descent with 10k to go and despite riding hard to the finish managed to lose over 4 minutes! Had I been nearer the front I would have lasted longer and perhaps finished with the group.

The second hotel was also nice but they had trouble with the English spelling on their customer satisfaction forms:

Always check your plumbling.

The second stage was wet and continued the hilly course from the previous day, after 130km came a long climb. This was where I and around 20 others were dropped (including Sacha Modelo from Colnago), I was dropped slightly before them though, so had to do a rip roaring descent in the wet down to the coast, through the team cars and towns to the back of the Colnago train. The Colnago riders were trying to get Modelo back to the bunch so he could contest the sprint but after a few kilometres along the rolling coast they gave up and pootled home, so we lost around 12 minutes in the last 20k. Just as well, I was pretty much running on empty at that point.

All in all it was great to finish my first UCI 2.1, even if it was only 2 days and I lost 17 minutes (timings don't matter, placings are more important), I came 81st overall out of around 120 starters. It was also great that my two new team mates Roberto Casero and Enrico Rossi did well. Casero came 7th and 4th in the stages and 5th overall. Rossi came 11th in the first stage and then got into the break in the second, coming third in the climbers competition. I have much to learn from these guys, for the moment I am going to concentrate on how to stay near the front on the climbs, something far, far more difficult than it sounds.

After the race I was covered in a fine film of dirt that was hard to remove, I haven't shaved my legs yet, it's OK though as I was only showing a small amount of skin:

Next to us the Lampre team had their mechanic lorry. It was slightly overkill for a 2 day race but it was quite cool nonetheless. They had enough spare wheels for Paris Roubaix neutral service:

In the next few days I am going to do a blog post about riding in the wind, it makes such a difference being able to do this well. The only way to learn is to piss people off for years and years before finding out the right way (road cyclists have a funny way of not telling each other what to do).


Poor Jan Ullrich can't even do his beloved Sportives now: I know it's not right but I feel sorry for him, Lance is another story altogether.

A nice article about cycle photography and reporting in general:

The husband and coach of Jeannie Longo, the greatest female cyclist ever has been caught buying EPO. It's OK though because it's for his own personal use:

The organiser of a race I might be doing in Italy has been arrested for paying for prostitutes for his potential sponsors:, this is how you do business in Italy! No wonder Berlusconi stayed in power so long.
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2012 - Meridiana Kamen


  1. ChrisB's Avatar
    I haven't shaved my legs yet
    Sorry, I was looking for the blog of the professional cyclist, David Mclean, but I appear to have stumbled across that of an imposter instead. I'll keep looking.
  2. David Mclean's Avatar
    Please let me know if you find him!