I had hoped to stay in Feltre itself but the rooms left by the time I got round to searching were all waaay too expensive, so I stayed 22km out of town in a hotel at Primolano. Just like many regular events, people book their favourite accomm a year ahead. I’ve sorted this problem out by doing just that as I plan on returning next year.
On the day the weather was cool with just a small amount of rain on the final ascent for me, although others on the longer course got wetter. I had my goretex fronted under shirt plus arm warmers on so didn't need to stop before every descent.
Over 4000 riders and the organisation was brilliant. Coloured coded signs all around town directed riders to the rear of the start queue with a side corridor to allow passage to the more forward pens.
The start was essentially very slow for those of us at the back even after we had crossed over the first transponder mat (there were mats at every climb) and the start roads were totally closed. The rest of the course also had closed roads, but only for specific periods of the day and so when I was descending my second last descent, which was only on the shorter course,I had traffic to contend with but the last descent was on both courses and so was closed…hence a PB descent!
I was going ok until 5km from the top of the Passo Brocon when I had an explosive rear wheel puncture. I had tossed up which of my clincher wheels to bring and while the ones that got the nod are just a bit difficult to change, recently I’ve managed it ok. However in the cold and in the heat of the moment I struggled. A good samaritan stopped to help but when using the CO2 had failed to seat the tyre properly and so I ended up having to deflate it and re-do….more time and CO2.
In all, looking at the graph I lost about 20 minutes + the time lost later on when stopping at the mechanics van asking for a spare tube That was sad as I had been with a group of riders going at my pace, whereas when I re-started I was with slower riders and so ended up being solo more than previously. My downfall came over the final climb up Passo Croce d’Aune where my strength finally gave out and as I was going so slowly had to get off and walk a short while or fall off!
Nutrition and hydration during long rides has always been an issue for me but thanks to advice from the dietitian at Rise Health Performance I got the hydration bit sorted by adding 2 or 3 SIS, Multipower or Enervit runny types of gel to my water bottle, and diluting it with water.
There was a plea in the GF info book asking for no littering, mentioning that empty gel packets weighed little…totally ignored of course(!) and missing the point completely ..its not the weight, it’s the stickyness that causes people to chuck them.
Post ride I was very tired and struggled to my chew evening meal!
My next stop is where I am right now for 2 weeks, in the Dolomites at Moena, staying a rather nice apartment although I’d prefer it if the TV had more English speaking channels..I think I've had enough of Brexit stories. Of the approx 600 channels available at least 1/3 have either "sex", "porn" or "erotic" as a title...I think if I was tempted at all it's be the one labelled "Mobile Sex" that would get the nod.
The apartment's owner lives on the top floor and the apartment is so “nice” I’m not allowed to bring my bikes inside, instead there is a secure garage where both bike and car are living. There is a festival on from Thursday to Sunday and I've been warned there will be much noise/music....Probably of the oompah oompah variety
Valley recovery rides were all I could mange yesterday, although even valley rides have 10% gradients here. Today? perhaps Passo Fedaia..the easier side then maybe Passo San Pellegrini tomorrow....sort of depends on the weather and how I feel.
Alex joins me on Monday and, given the weather forecasts back home, I suspect he wishes it was a day or two earlier.