Monday, March 15, 2010
Cronosquadre della Versilia Michele Bartoli, Part I
Yesterday was the 3rd edition of the "Cronosquadre della Versilia Michele Bartoli". After working two years on establishing a granfondo that bears his name, Michele Bartoli decided in 2007 to move forward on the implementation of a project that would bring to amateurs the opportunity to experience one of the highlights of any grand tour: the team time trial (cronosquadra).
For the first event, in 2008, he anticipated it would attract 35-40 teams of approximately 300 cyclists. Instead, 89 squads representing 700 cyclists were registered before registration had to be closed. Thirty teams had to be turned away.
The event is open to amateur cyclists, both men and women. Cyclist from 19 to 70 years of age may participate. The time trial team can be composed of men, women or can be mixed. Each team can be composed from 5 to 8 participants. Finish time is based upon the the fifth to cross the finish line.
For teams participating in the CAMPIONATO ITALIANO FCI category there are three classes based on the total age composition of the team.
The course is 37.5 km, essentially flat, starting in Forte dei Marmi. Riders then head north to Montignoso, then Marina di Massa before turning south towards Viareggio. In Viareggio riders turn north back to the finish in Forte dei Marmi. Road is closed to traffic.
My friend Eros Poli, along with Bartoli, were part of the GIORDANA team which was not competing for classification. Nevertheless, they obviously put the hammer down and had the best time of the day: 42 minutes, 45 seconds, almost 54 km/h.
In the next entry some photos of the other teams. Believe me they are as serious as the GIORDANA boys.
You just have to love the passion Italians have for cycling. Who else is going to start a TTT series?
Photos: the TTT course is along the sea; Bartoli (left) and Poli (center); the team in action, Eros is the tallest guy.
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