Settimana Ciclistica internazionale Coppi e Bartali tends to be viewed as the ideal warm-up race for those taking part in May’s Giro d’Italia and, as might be expected, features many of the Italian ProContinental and Continental squads. It’s obviously not as prestigious a race as this week’s Volta a Catalunya but it still provides a varied terrain plus a safe haven for those that come out in hives at the mere mention of cobbles.
I am often amazed at my French club-mates’ apparent insouciance to watching live bike racing. Generally, if the race goes past their door – as it does in this Saturday’s Paris-Nice – they’ll watch. But, if not, like as not, after having ridden in the morning, they’re more than happy to watch the live action unfold on their HD screens. They would never think of driving an hour or two to watch live racing. It’s fair to say that my cycling capers provide them with much amusement.
Tony Hewson (image courtesy of Cycling Archives)
A lot of my club-mates are still very good riders who in their younger days liked nothing better than racing against the professionals who would decamp to the South of France to both train and race. Continue reading
Funnily enough, despite what many of you believe, it’s not all about the cobbles. Racing continues apace further south of Belgium for those riders for whom the pavé, the beer and those oh so fattening frites with mayo find no resonance. In fact, we’re somewhat spoilt for choice with three races taking place today (Sunday). In southern Spain there’s the Clasica de Almeria, in southern France it’s time for Les Boucles du Sud Ardeche – Souvenir Francis Delpech, while over in the Italian speaking part of Switzerland there’s the GP di Lugano, making this a weekend with truly something for everyone. Continue reading