Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Verona, Cycling Epicenter & Damiano Cunego

Verona feels like the epicenter of cycling. On a weekend there must be THOUSANDS of road cyclists on the roads. There are 50+ cycling clubs covering cicloturismo, road racing, track racing, triathlons, and mountain biking. It's not unusual to meet pro teams training in Lago di Garda and meeting professionals on the roads. Two I have met are Damiano Cunego and Michael Rasmussen (winner of the climber's polka dot jersey in the Tour de France).

"Il Piccolo Principe", Damiano Cunego, lives here in the province of Verona in the town of Cerro Veronese. At age 22 he was the youngest winner of the Giro d'Italia in 2004 (photo). In 2006 he won the white jersey for best young rider in the Tour de France. Verona will be at a fever pitch when the Giro comes to the city on June 2nd, hopefully with Damiano leading in the pink jersey again. I was reading in the newspaper that Damiano rode 170km yesterday so his training is well underway. In comparison I've been a slug with my longest ride being 72km this year. My only excuse is that I don't get paid and I'm not 25.

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