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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

An Italian Update

View off the deck of our apartment.
Since leaving the Czech Republic we have been based in Val di Sole, Italy staying in an apartment in the small town of Male. The valley has so far lived up to its sunny reputation with amazing weather most days and regularly getting up close to 30 degrees. Perfect for training and with numerous road climbs in the surrounding Mountains and stunning views it is tempting to ride all day. Living in the “Yellow House” has been great with all the comforts of home, which even includes a dishwashing machine. With the World Cup track within easy riding distance it has worked out really well. It hasn’t been hard to find a good Pizza restaurant either and we are almost on best mate terms with the owner of the local Cafe where we have been known to sample the occasional Apple Strudel or Gelato with our coffees.

The "Yellow House"

I had a solid two week training block after the Czech World Cup, which went really well and I felt like good progress was made with the form coming along nicely. Got back into the racing last weekend with the final round of the Internazionali D’Italia Series just up the road in Vermiglio.

I have done this race a couple of times before so had a fair idea on what to expect although the course had been altered slightly since I was last here in 2011. We basically started off on the flat with a gravel road bash before hitting a super steep climb. Probably the toughest I’ve had to race up. This was followed by the only real single trail section, a rough rocky descent plunging almost straight down the hill.  The rest of the track contained a lot of mown paddock sections with natural jumps and flowing corners. Another two steep climbs were also thrown in to sting the legs making it a pretty tough overall course.
The race went pretty well. I went into it hoping to make a top 15 finish and so pick up a few UCI points but wasn’t quite able to make it. Ended up finishing in 16th which was a little disappointing. More positively my deficit to the winner wasn’t too bad and compared to the other U23s I did pretty well coming in 3rd. My start was again good, as it has been lately which definitely makes the rest of the race a lot easier. It’s a bit of a relief to be able to do this consistently after struggling in this area for so long. I didn’t go amazingly well but it was a solid ride with no mistakes and I even managed to avoid crashing this time. I was mindful of not overdoing this race with the World Cup coming in six days. But think I worked it quite well and this hit out should set me up nicely for this weekend.
 The next few days will be all about tuning the speed with some short sharp training and plenty of recovery. Course is another climbing fest so will be an exciting race where anything could happen on the day depending on how the legs are going.

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