Final Day at the Italy Camp

It was not fare , Kevin’s bike was so light at these altitudes that he had to hold it down , otherwise it would have floated away!

Ok, the Giro is over ( well so are the other two Grand Tours ) and we have one more day of the camp left . Since we were not able to climb Passo San Marco in the beginning of the week we decided to give it an other try , but from the other side . Little overcast and the roads were slightly wet from some rain over the night, but no big deal this was not a 3 hour ride to the base this time and I personally think this is a very cool ride through the Brembo Valley .

Slight uphill the whole way to the base of the mountain and then a good hour of pretty serious climbing . The race was on right away , I think everybody was feeling pretty good after a rest day and some motivation from watching the Giro stage the day before.

I could only imagine how hard it would be racing up this thing for real , it was relentless . I had done this climb in 2007 , so I kind of knew it , but I do not think it helped much. Paolo has ridden this thing numerous times as well . We get to the top , there is still snow and we can look down the other side where we had to turn around the other day .

It felt like a great accomplishment that we made it to the top and it was a great closing to the camp , we had now ridden everything we had planned .

There is a small lodge just below the summit ( I stopped there as well in 2007 to warm up after climbing in the freezing rain for 2hours) , so we rolled down and we had a great lunch .

Laughing about the adventures we had gone through during the week and more Coke of course!

. The ride back was nice , pretty much all down hill except for the drive to the hotel. Kevin even thought about offering us some motor pacing. A great 4 hour ride to end the camp .
A very successful week , something like 35 hours of ( mostly climbing ) riding on awesome roads with the most spectacular views. The sad thing was; now it was time to put the bike back into the box ! If Mark only could figure out why the bike box seemed smaller than it was when he came here.There is nothing I would change about this camp and I hope when you read the entire blog about our week in Italy you get the same idea and sign up for next year . This camp is quite demanding and you need good fitness and skills , but it is also the ride of your life time everyday .
Thanks to Paolo who made all these rides possible. He also took care of the travel and lodging logistics in Italy which was perfect . Paolo was no doubt the “Man” of the camp and I really hope we can have him as our guide again next year , he even gained some fitness for himself during this week . I am very fortunate to have a friend like him , thanks again!
Fabio and Matteo at the Cascina Belveldi Hotel treated us like family . Great guys and I can not thank them enough for what the did for us.
The service was absolutely phenomenal and I would not stay anywhere else in the future when we go back.
Then the food and wine they served just makes me hungry thinking about it . I rode and raced a lot this year , but it is save to say these were the best days on the bike in 2010 and I am really looking forward to do this camp again next year . Plan ahead , there will be maximum 8-10 spots available. The camp will be held last week in May again with an epic ride schedule on tap right around the Giro di Italia.
Pappini breaking out his special lemonchelli , the hotel care taker and former bike racer , quite a character

Thanks for reading and hope you will be able to experience all this next year .