On saturday the 20th of march i particpated in my first city to surf sporting fixture, italian style. Like the sydney fun run, the italian version commonly known as Milan Sanremo, begins in the hustle bustle of the busiest city in the country and finishes in perhaps the busiest beach side suberb in the country. Luckily for both race the roads are closed to traffic giving all a clear path to torture themselves in the respective events.
Having never done the sydney event i can only report on the italian version which i competed in on saturday. The 300km journey was completed in just under 7hrs therefore averaging close to 44kmph. Ouch. The race started under grey skys however the rain conveniently held of until the roads became smaller and more twisty and undulating at the 100km mark, just what you dont want. The race however started well for use with fabrice placing himself in the breakaway of 3 riders relieving the pressure from our team to ride at the front. A welcome chance from the week before in tireno adriatico! At 100km in the race started and with the rain came the inevitable crashes, luckily neither my team mates or i ever went down however the road blocks it created caused many splits and nervious moments. This continued for the next 100km and with 100km to race the sun was out and the race all together and we were happily racing along the mediteranian with a lovely little tail breeze towards sanremo. All seemed to be perfect. Then i dawned on me that my pockets were still filled with food. This unfortunately for me meant that during the previous 100km i had forgotten to eat as much as i should have and was suddenly hungry! I quickly gobbled down as much as i could but in a race of this intensity and duration, when you are at the stage where you are hungry, it is to late to reload, you body is depleted and it was just a ticking time bomb as to when i would bonk! (go hunger flat where your blood has no glycogen and it basically tells your brain to stop your body working so jolly hard).
I tried to think possitively and keep eating hoping for a miricle. Had a few chats with our team captain scarpa and i was geed about helping out in the finarly! I spent the next 60km jostling for position trying to get to front and when we hit the cipressa, the first of 2 decisive climbs which come in the final 20km, i went for the gas pedal to get to the front and help out or captain for the day ginanni. Alas the power did not greet my pedals and as Ginanni came to fore i put on the hazard lights and got spat out the backside of the peleton. At the top of the climb i found myself in a small group with non other than last years race winner mark cavendich and had regained hope that perhaps his team would come back for him! They did not and we would eventually role in 6min behind the winners. As i said before on the cipressa ginanni came to the four, attacking numerous times on both the ascents and decents, and again on the final climb the poggio in an attempt to steal the victory. The climbs were not so brutal at only 3-4km and 4-5% however the italians have this amazing ability to find the most dangourous decents to ride a bicycle down. They really do love to see crashes. For some of the best riders this is also i place where they take there opportunities to win races, ginanni is one of these riders and made some bold attempts at escapeing on these goat track! Unforunately on this occasion he cooul not break the shackels of the peleton and when the bunch reformed just before the finish he was to finish 7th in the sprint, still a very very good result in the first major classic of the season.
So that was my first city to surf, be it sydney or milan, there is certainly no better was to get from the hustle and bustle of the city to the seaside party scene of the beach than by doing a sporting race!