Archive | 9:34 AM

RAMPICHIANA 2016: Mountain Bike Race

4 Apr

In keeping with my theme that one never knows what to expect in Cortona, yesterday we were entertained by RAMPICHIANA, a large mountain bike race which was held in Cortona.

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Not sure of the number, but it seemed like a few thousand cyclists, in colorful gear and sponsorship, descended upon Cortona. As we got our morning coffee, many were walking, strategizing and warming up on Via Nazionale.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

There were three categories in this 12th edition of the race:

The LONG race was 45 km, or about 28 miles, through the streets and hills around Cortona, with 1600 meters (about one mile high) of altitude. The race started at 10 am

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©Blogginginitaly.com

with the elite cyclists getting ready to begin.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

They were followed by the second group

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©Blogginginitaly.com

and all headed down Via Nazionale toward Piazza Garibaldi, where they seemed to explode into a mass of colorful streamers.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

The MIDDLE race was 30 km with 1100 meters in altitude. The SHORT race, for non-competitive cyclists and minors, took 45 minutes with less altitude and challenging curves. It was as close as I have ever been to a cyclist race, and everyone was caught up in the buzz as they flew by.

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Good weather brought out the cheering spectators.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

As we walked around town, we caught a glimpse of riders at various parts of the race. For those who know the town well, imagine riding UP Via Guelfa on a mountain bike when we are challenged walking up Via Guelfa on foot! And this is after riding over 20+ miles in the hills.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

We met a lovely couple from Pennsylvania who asked, “Do these things just sort of happen here?” “Yes,” I said and smiled. “It’s part of what keeps us coming back.”

The race ended in Piazza Signorelli, with the final curve leading from Piazza Repubblica.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

We were right there when the first woman crossed the finish line.

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©Blogginginitaly.com

Complimenti!

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©Blogginginitaly.com

A good day for both riders and spectators…

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©Blogginginitaly.com

and a well-deserved rest for a job well done!

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©Blogginginitaly.com

Ciao,
Judy

 

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