Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Eros Poli Tours, Veneto, Alto Adige, France

First things first. Eros Poli and I are good friends.
Eros, now in his post-professional cyclist phase of life, has been offering ride tours to Italians for several years. Now he is very interested in leading ride groups of American, European, Asian, and Australian cyclists.

Eros' thinking about Italian cycling tours, and I agree with him, is that if people are coming to Italy to ride then the most authentic experience would be with someone that was not only born and raised in the region, but that also grew up riding and racing in the region. The fact that he's an ex-professional only adds to the authenticity of the experience, not to mention the fun stories about life in the peloton. Also, everyone seems to know Eros so doors open to places that you wouldn't find on any other tour.

To re-cap his professional and amateur career: Eros raced professionally from 1991 to 2000 for the Del Tongo-MG, MG-Bianchi, Mercatone Uno-Saeco, Saeco, GAN and Credit Agricole teams. He was a founding member of the famous Mario Cipollini red train, and was also the lead out man for Frederic Moncassin. The highlight of his professional career was winning one of the most famous stages in the Tour de France: Mont Ventoux in 1994*. In the peloton he was highly respected for his honesty and fairness. As an amateur, Eros' palmares include: Gold Medalist in the Men's Team Road Race, 1984 Olympics (Los Angeles, USA ); Gold Medalist in the 100 Km Team Time Trial, Road World Championship ( Villach, Austria ); and Italian National Champion in Pursuit. Hearing of all this might be intimidating but Eros is a terrific, laid back guy with exceptional people skills.

Eros on Mont Ventoux in 1994 (it was an epic stage):
In Paris Roubaix:

Eros is also the Veneto representative to the Italian Cycling Federation, and that he's the only Italian that works for the Tour de France organization. Measures of how respected he is.

Eros would be happy to work you in putting together a custom trip. Such trips could include a full week here in the Veneto near Verona and Lake Garda, or trips which might include Veneto riding plus the Stelvio, Gavia or Dolomites, and even combining a trip to the Briancon area of France to climb Galibier, Alpe d'Huez, and Izoard. He can also tailor trips to meet goals such as base training and climbing, or any specific areas you would like to ride in. And, he can recommend a range of accommodations from sports hotels to villas to suit your needs.
You can contact Eros at eros UNDERSCORE Poli AT libero DOT it
*A native of Isola della Scala, Verona, Italy, Eros Poli is best remembered for his 1994 Tour de France stage 15 win of Mont Ventoux after a 106 mile solo escape. Eros, at 6 feet 4 inches and 187 pounds, was not a prospect to win one of the most difficult and famous climbs in the Tour de France. He escaped, however, from the peloton very early on and, under conditions of searing heat, arrived at the base of Mont Ventoux with a 22 minute lead. Steadily, the chase pack of climbers began taking back time. Arriving at the final 300 meters of the climb where the grade is 11% the lead had dwindled to 4 minutes. Eros survived Mont Ventoux and then hammered the descent to arrive in Carpentras to an incredible win by 3 minutes and 39 seconds ahead of Pantani and Virenque. His escape and victory earned him the nickname “Monsieur Mont Ventoux”.

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