Here Comes The Dirt

I’m now only 7 days away from my 2nd shot at the Strade Bianche Gran Fondo (‘the most southerly northern Classic’), which I wanted to do again in good weather. I give you the latest forecast for Siena for next Sunday:

Capture

Last year it rained nearly the entire 5 hours I was riding and the high was 9 degrees. I guess I can’t complain about what’s coming (but I will).

Training is going well, I think. I’m feeling stronger every week, and even though I still haven’t seen my weight dip under 70 kg, I’m looking leaner. In the end, that’s what counts, I believe.

Since I started my no-program training program in December I’ve logged 91 hours on the bike. I was surprised to see that this is 10 more than this time last year, meaning I should do 10% better in the race, obviously.

The 2018 version of Strade Bianche will be done with friends, most of whom you know already. They include Karsten-with-a-K; the guy who keeps me honest in 44|5 Cycling Tours – John; Sarah, a fellow Canadian who I believe will be doing her very first sportive; and Stephen, a friend from New York who’s coming over just for the race (and the food and the wine and the good weather).

What we can expect next Sunday is a fabulous route that starts in the old fortress of Siena, followed by 140 km of wonderful Tuscan roads, punctuated by 8 sectors of gravel / mud roads that total 31 km. Our route is the same one the pro women will ride the day before us.

strade

Finally, of course this gran fondo finishes with a brutal (but mercifully short) climb up to the very heart of Siena…

sportograf-90798712_lowres

…with the finish line being in the Piazza del Campo, where no matter how wrecked and wretched you are, it’s only a few awkward steps in your cleats to an espresso, a slice of pizza, or a bottle of Chianti.

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10 thoughts on “Here Comes The Dirt

    • Hi Sheree, Of course I join you in wishing Gerry (and Karsten annd Sarah) the best of luck. Besides that, I just followed your link and see that you “developed a passion for cycling rather late in life.” Me too, perhaps without the rather. PACA is big, but if you are close enough to Montpellier want to meet up for a coffee or pedal? Suze

  1. Sounds like you’re on track for a good ride this year. And good luck to the others. Sarah has chosen a good one to initiate herself into the sportive world.

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