The Italian Job – part one

Written by on February 5, 2012 in Travel - No comments

No, it’s neither about a quick ”get-in-get-out type” of activity nor about a small fling. This is actually about the beginning of a lifelong love affair which, once upon a time, was ignited by a small gathering called Il Giro d’Italia.
Then, many years ago, I really neither had the time, nor could I afford a trip to la bella paese, but rest assured, I have made up for it since then.. many times since then.

What is it then that draws not only me, but loads of other fellow ”Italics” towards Italy? Is it the food, the wine, the atmos or is it the general Italian laissez-faire attitude towards the troubles of life? Not to mention the organized chaos? The answer is without any doubt – Yes, to all of it! I love it, I embrace it with all of my being.

In cycling circles, there are basically three major areas where cyclists of all categories gather for training camps and holidays. There’s the Francophilias who go totally bonkers and swear by everything holy that France is God’s resting place on earth. Then you’ve got the the fans of Illes Baleares for whom everything evolves around paella which of course is, muy bien. And finally there is Italy, the motherland of food, culture and all that is considered stylish and beautiful.

Francesco (left, chief guide) and Claudio (hotelier)

For a couple of years now, I’ve gone down Riccione way, to Hotel Adlon for the club’s yearly cycling camp. Just to get your bearings right, Riccione is of quite a small town with about 25 000 inhabitants, just about a 10 minute drive from Rimini on the east coast. The hotel itself is situated about a 10 second walk from the promenade alongside the Adriatic sea. You’d soon feel at home at the hotel. The hotelier, Mr. Claudio Montanari has a fantastic staff who really try their upmost to make you feel welcome and at home.

The hotel itself markets itself as a hotel for cyclists, so they offer all guests the possibility to join one of three guided speed-groups; The Espresso (fast), The Tiramisú (moderate) and Caffé Latte (slow and sweet. The cycling guides are great. all of them former pros, or soon to be pros. One of the guides is said to have won the classic Milan – San Remo! However don’t expect all of them to speak English, but use your hands, I do and it works swimmingly!

Enrico rides with a pro Italian intercontinental team this year.

Cycling wise, the region of Emilia-Romagna got it all. Everything from flat seaside roads to the rolling countryside and epic hill climbs that just keeps on going and going and going.. It is virtually impossible to recommend just one route, but there’s one which is the Monte Carpegna route, ”Cippo” as it also is called.

The route from Riccone and back is in total 110 km and expect a total climb of 1 785 meters. You’d better be prepared for this beast, it will lobb a great kick in your unmentionables if you’re not ready and respect it. The route is classified as difficult to very difficult, depending on wether you want to do the whole climb, or if you’d rather take a break at a fantastic café in the village of Carpegna.

Author finally on top of Cippo

The first 46,6 km are quite moderate, with an easy to moderate climb – no time for rest, it just keeps going upwards, slowely bute surely. When you think it finally is over, here’s where you have to show your true colors. The last 7 km climb to the top, begins with an initial kick in the teeth with a 9 % climb, short but deadly. After that I wish I could say it would be a doddle, but then I’d be telling you fibs.. Expect to face everything from 3 % to 18 % climbs.

If you make it to the top, there is a fantastic reward waiting for you. As we all know, what goes up, must come down eventually, even in this case. But beware the descent is really exciting – small undulated hairpin corners. You could easily reach 50 – 60 km/h either alive, or hitting rock bottom if you’re not careful. After the descent, I really recommend a pit stop at the local café for a cuppa – you’d really deserve it!

If you need more specific information regarding the hotel or the region, feel free to contact me.

Where to stay:

Hotel Adlon

How to get there:

Rimini Airport (10 minutes from hotel)
Ancona Airport (ca. 1,5-2 hrs south of Riccione)

The route.

The Route

Georg Gyllenfjell

About Georg Gyllenfjell

I live on a Swedish island, situated in the Baltic Sea, called Gotland with my wife. Together we have two grown up boys ages 21 and 24. I just love the cycling scene! It's not so much about racing per se, but rather the cycling life style you know.. The cycling fashion, the notion of traveling abroad on cycling camps or holidays. The sunday club run with your club mates to a local café some 50-60 km's away. The racing part for me, is something I just might do if I feel like it. For me the important thing is the road to the event, not so much the event itself. Which brings me to my other passion which is Italy. I love to cook, and combine good food with good wine - all Italian! When it comes to cycling; I'm the president of a local cycling club since 2008 and I just might get elected to the Regional Cycling Association as well. Besides cycling, I'm a food and wine junkie - and I also take photographs which I turn into posters. On everyday basis, I am the co-owner of a small recently started advertising company called "Isle of Design" where I am the Creative Director. Take care G

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