• Anthony Little
  • none
  • August 05, 2017
  • journal, Uncategorized

Sunday, April 24th marked the first day of the Giro de Sardegna. This was to be a 24km individual time trial (ITT) on an out and back course. Due to what was supposed to be a really nasty day weather-wise the organizers shortened it to 12km. So, the Medio Fondo group started at the coast while those of us doing the full length race started at the race hotel and raced to the water.
Since we got in late the day before there was not really a chance to pre-ride the course (not that I would have anyhow) but it was a pretty simple layout. Start, then after about 200 meters take a right on a very crowded and sandy turn and then kill yourself for 9km into a stinging headwind. This 9km was dead straight with the exception of a few roundabouts. Then turn right for a few km, left for a km and another right to the finish. Simple enough, except for the killing yourself part!

 

The 9km straight section. What you can’t see is the massive head wind…

 

 

Personally I didn’t have any plans of going too hard. This was a seven day stage race and from what I saw the other racers were going to take it very seriously. I mean we had a current Olympic medalist, Franco Marvulli, a current pro and overall stud Malcolm Elliot and a bunch of other Pro’s or almost pro’s on the Assos team. So I thought it’d be better to save any energy I had for the road stages to come.

 

A couple of the Assos TT bikes. Easy for the Euro guys to bring bikes, not so easy for those of us traveling thousands of miles…

 

 

Since I was planning on taking it easy I of course didn’t warm up at all, except for the 4km ride to the start line. But those plans ended pretty quickly. Another guy on our team started right in front of me, one minute before. I didn’t know who he was at this time, but I would end up riding a lot of the event with Joost from the Netherlands as we were pretty evenly matched in fitness.

 

 

Somewhere along the long 9km straight, flat section…

 

 

So, I got to the start line, the official counted me down and I was off! All I could think was keep it slow and steady and I did exactly that, for about 100 meters. Then the ego kicked in with all the spectators and I of course felt great as it was only about 10 seconds into the TT and I put it in one of the lower sprockets in the rear and put my head down. I was gaining on Joost pretty quickly so kept at it. This was the longest and hardest 12km I have ever done, but it was fun and my legs didn’t seize up too badly…

 

 

Yep, taking it easy. That’s a pretty aero watch I have on as well. I didn’t have a computer and had to make sure not to miss my start time. Also, I got my hands on a hard to find older Assos skin suit though the newer Assos Starburst suit is said to be a bit faster…

 

 

All in all, no warmup and I still finished top 50 (out of 280 or so), about a minute and a half behind the leader. Not bad on a road bike w/ pretty tame wheels on a flat course. So of course for next year I’ll have all the gear; helmet, TT bike etc. and then only finish a minute down! Well worth the extra $4oo in bike fees!

 

 

Belgian stud Tom W. showing us how to do it. Pretty sure he was 3rd in the TT

 

 

The crappy weather didn’t come until later in the day but I’m so happy that they kept it at 12km as I blew well before the line anyhow! I do wish I would have warmed up proper, but still had a blast and was now in race mode. The entire Assos team did well and was looking forward to the 160km road stage the next day.
For those of you who don’t know what the Giro de Sardegna is, it’s a 7 day stage race in Sardegna (duh) that is run Grand Fondo style. This means that the fields are pretty big, over 250 in the full and the same for the Medio. Most of the participants here take it VERY seriously and are EXTREMELY fit. Lots of Pro’s, former pros and super fast amateurs. Pretty much everyone here knows how to handle a bike well in a huge field which is good as we went from wide two lane roads to very narrow streets through small towns.
This was a great event that I hope to do again and if you want to get a taste of what a full on stage race feels like in Europe come talk to us and maybe join the team for next year?!
Tomorrow I’ll cover stage two, the first road stage. Thanks for reading!

 

 

 

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