Maratona d’les Dolomites. 06/07-07-2024.

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Saturday 06 July:
Today was an easy day and after breakfast, we all cycled out to the quieter part of the area in the Dolomites, but it was deceptively uphill all the way that caused a tired feeling in the muscles, a residual result from the previous day’s efforts.
A stop at a favourite cafe for drinks was had with an expresso, an americano, two cappuccino’s and a black tea costing an outrageous €11:20!
Rebecca decided to return to the hotel whilst the boys carried on along a quiet road that is popular with families due to the nature environment. Steve mentioned that he remembered the road as being flat and straight – it was neither and definitely uphill! The return to the hotel was very rapid though but it was too late for any meaningful lunch, so everyone, minus Dave, walked down to the nearby supermarket for snacks and rolls.
Everyone prepared their machines for tomorrow and had another exquisite dinner before rushing off to see England win on penalties, before retiring early for the 4am call for breakfast.

Sunday 07 July:
The day of the Maratona and the early start is universally not liked – eating at that time isn’t easy, but the body needs to be ‘carb’ loaded ahead of the effort that would be needed. We were all in the same pen with just under an hour to the start and pre- nerves had already caused multiple visits to the basic toilet facilities with Steve winning that completion.
Now the event – it consists of multiple mountain passes with a choice of short, medium or long. The word ‘short’ is a bit of a misnomer for that route as it takes in four mountain climbs around the behemoth that is called the Sella. The medium adds on a nice climb of part of the Falzarego and a short climb up the Valparola before a long descent into where we started before finishing in Corvara. The long route adds the Giau and another part of the Falzarego before rejoining the medium route.
Conditions played a part in what people choose to ride today as it was wet from the off – this makes descending very hairy and with nutters on the course, it becomes potentially dangerous and I had a cyclist come far to fast into a hairpin and he fell off, missing me by inches. I carried on with the descent with a bit more care after that!
Nick and Rebecca called it a day after finishing the short circuit, whilst Steve and Dave carried on to do the medium course and I chose the long version. The weather changed to downright downpours and descending was now reduced to a scary event and luckily, cycling shorts are a tight fit!
Everyone got round unscathed and despite the conditions, everyone enjoyed themselves! We returned to hotel a very soggy and muddy bunch.
Signing off for now as we are off to a special dinner – with alcoholic drinks for sure!

One Response

  1. Phil
    | Reply

    Bravo comrades

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