Granfondo Marco Pantani Weekend

Ciao a tutti,

After the last Italian trips we have decided to organise another trip to Italy for the weekend of the Granfondo Marco Pantani in September 2019.

You will be able to ride some of Marco’s Climbs.

You will be able to ride some of Marco’s Climbs.

We will be doing a long weekend leaving the Friday morning from London Heathrow & returning on Monday evening.

The trip include 4 days of cycling in Marco’s Land in the beautiful Region of Emilia Romagna, visiting some of the iconic places where he trained & lived, enjoying the sceneries,history & local cuisine.

Emilia Romagna is also land of many other professionals cyclists,champions of the past & present, hence the Giro D’Italia 2019 had 6 stages in the region including the start & the time trial up to San Marino.

The Granfondo is held the Sunday of the weekend of the 21st & 22nd of September, the day after the UCI 1.1 race which many Pro Tour Teams attend the event to pay respect to Marco.

Marco Pantani at the time of Carrera Team.

Marco Pantani at the time of Carrera Team.

We will be staying at 4* Hotel Lungomare in Cesenatico where will be enjoying the amazing facilities & the professional services provided by the hotel staff.

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A quick brief of the details are listed below & or you can click here for full details.

PROGRAM

Friday 20th of September 2019

  • Flight from London Heathrow to Bologna on BA 540

  • Private transfer to 4* Hotel Lungomare in Cesenatico

  • Check In Hotel

  • Buffet Lunch in hotel

  • 3 hours Ride with Guide

  • Return on the Hotel,relax in the wellbeing centre & yoga on the beach

  • Visit to the Marco Pantani Museum

  • Dinner in Cesenatico

Saturday 21th of September 2019

Sunday 22th of September 2019

  • Early Breakfast

  • Granfondo Pantani

  • Pasta Party

  • Return on the Hotel,relax in the wellbeing centre & yoga on the beach

  • Aperitif in Cesenatico 

  • Dinner in Cesenatico with Marco Pantani’s Mother

Monday 23th of September 2019

  • Breakfast

  • 3 hours Ride

  • Lunch back at the hotel

  • Dismount the bikes

  • Transfer to Bologna Airport

  • Flight Bologna to Heathrow BA545 18:50 arrive at 20:00

If you like to hear more infos please email us ride@saddledrunk.com .

Ciao for now from the SaddleDrunk Team.

SD

Giro D'Italia 2019 Italian Trip

Weekend Away for the Wine Stage of the Giro d’ italia 2019.

As the start of the Giro D’italia will be around our home town we have decided to have a trip where will be watching the “BIG BOYS” playing with their bikes.

The 2 top attractions of this trip are the ride to admire the boys during the “Wine Stage” arrival in San Marino & a lovely ride to Florence crossing the back spine of Italy which are the “Apennines”.

Photo Credit @ Smart Travel Italy

Photo Credit @ Smart Travel Italy

You will be flying out from London Heathrow to Bologna on Saturday 18th of May 2019 where you will be whisked away on a private transport to Imola for lunch.

Our home base will be a wine farm in the hills of Faenza with a lovely swimming pool overlooking the fields.

We will be riding for 4 days.

  • Day 1 : After arrival we will be riding for 70km Ride;

  • Day 2 : Ride to San Marino to watch the “Wine Stage” 160km Ride;

  • Day 3 : Ride to Florence across the Apennines 110km Ride;

  • Day 4 : Ride to Ravenna for the start of stage 10. 60km Ride;

Photo Credit @ Italian Tribune

Photo Credit @ Italian Tribune

Please see details here:

Price per person:

GBP 440 for cyclist on double occupancy

GBP 350 for non cyclist on double occupancy

GBP 480 for cyclist on single occupancy

The prices above include:

  • Return flights with British Airways from London to Bologna 18/5/2019 return 21/5/2019 ;

  • Economy class including cabin luggage + 1 piece of luggage of 23kg (additional luggage can be added at your own cost). The 1 piece of luggage is your bike bag.

  • Private airport transfer for you and your bike.

  • Private Transfers in town.

  • 3 nights accommodation at Agriturismo La Sabbiona on a bed and breakfast basis.

  • Trip jersey .

  • Daily supported rides with guide and mechanical support if required.

  • Complimentary sport nutrition.

At your own cost:

  • Cooking course at Agriturismo La Sabbiona available at cost of £45 per person (2 and1/2 hours course and eating what cooked);

  • Cycling bibs of the Event kit available at £65;

  • Bicycle hire available please advise if required

  • Bike box hire available at £30, please advise if required;

  • Travel insurance (we recommend Yellow Jersey Insurance. Discount code available)

  • Incidental expenses

For more information please email us store@saddledrunk.com



Ventoux

Our guest writer & friend Leigh send us few lines about his experience with us at Mt Ventoux a couple months back...

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Firstly thank you so much for organising it Stef. Even when it went tits up with the airport strikes you managed to sort it all for us.

It was an amazing trip and I look forward to going on more with Saddle Drunk in the future. I was surprised how easy it was to get to Ventoux from London with the bikes on the plane and train. It was great that you had booked everything for us. Made the journey very straightforward, even after I went to the wrong terminal to begin with.

The accommodation was perfect. Plenty of space for us, very near Ventoux and came with great chef 😉. I loved the warm up ride to the very snazzy bar on the mountain. Excellent way to prepare for the next day's ascent(s).

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From a cold grey London in the morning I was now sitting on the mountain in the afternoon, enjoying beautiful views with great beer and greater company. Who could ask for more. I absolutely loved climbing Ventoux.

I couldn't have asked for better weather and better climbing companions. Apart from obviously reaching the top twice the highlight really was the hybrid pain au chocolate/almond croissant (most delicious pastry I have ever had).

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I will definitely be back to climb the mountain again. I need to bag the 3 ascents now. It is an addictive climb which really is legendary. Thank you to yourself and Dave for making the weekend such a joy.

Thank you very much Leigh & if you like more informations for our next trip across the continent please email us at ride@saddledrunk.com.

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Merry Xmas.

London 2 Paris 2017

By great demand our annual ride to Paris has been decided. Those are the date to pencil in your diary 16th to 18th of June. We will ride just over 300km of lovely rolling roads at an easy pace giving the opportunity to stay altogether.We will maintain throughout the journey the  "NO DROP" policy.

Dates of departure is 16th June from Ealing to Newhaven Ferry Port,approximately 105km.On the way there we will have a pit stop before reaching a nice restaurant to refill before jumping on the ferry.

The ferry ride to Dieppe is about 5 hour.As soon as we land in France we will ride along the famous "Avenue Verte",the old Paris to Dieppe rail track.

We will ride nearly 200km that day with stops along the route to refill and chill.

On arrival in Paris at Eiffel Tower we will do our photos before heading to the hotel.A quick shower to get ready for a lovely meal & a bit of socialising in the Parisian Suburbs.

Around Paris!!

Around Paris!!

We will return to London on the 18th of June with Eurostar.

The price is for £ 250 which include:                                                                    

  • 1 x Driver/Mechanic to accompany the group 
  • Support Vehicle to provide mechanical and emergency assistance as required
  • Baggage transfer from UK to France
  • Bike return from Paris to London
  • Hotel 3 star (twin/double occupancy) on B&B basis
  • Ferry outbound including private cabin(twin occupancy)
  • Eurostar
  • Special Edition SaddleDrunk Jersey 

If you like more info or you would like to join us please email us at ride@saddledrunk.com.

SaddleDrunk Team.

Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge,New Zealand

The SaddleDrunk Team has not returned to UK after a month Down Under.During our road trip we met copious amount of Cyclists & Triathletes. A particular rider volunteered to be our guest writer and share with the SaddleDrunk Community an event he attended.The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge 2016. 

The skies overhead looked threatening as the thousands of riders gathered to take part in the 40th Annual Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge. Some rain droplets hit the up-turned riders faces as they were waiting to start in their selected categories for the iconic 160km loop around the spectacular Lake Taupo.

Fortunately, the rains did not come and it was a record-breaking day across all the categories, with the fastest time of 3hrs 39 minutes going to Aaron Gate. The fastest Round The Lake female of the day was Kate Mcilroy who was the first female ever to crack the sub 4hr barrier with just 12 seconds to spare. The 2016 event turned out to be a stunning day, heating up towards the end of the challenge when the sun came out in full force to provide warmth to the elated finishers who spent time mingling around the event village, recounting their epic journey around the Lake and enjoying a picnic style lunch and festivities.

The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is definitely New Zealand’s premier cycling event with fun and serious racing combined, having started way back in 1977 when only 26 riders lined up together to raise funds for the local IHC (ihc.org.nz), supporting people with Intellectual Disabilities.  Since then, more than 200,000 people have taken part in this annual fixture that saw 10,000 riders participate in its heyday.  After a few challenging years where numbers dipped, the event has always retained its title as New Zealand’s biggest cycling event for the masses. This year almost 7,000 cyclists turned out from across all the categories including the solo and elite groups. The mountain bike event categories that utilises the famous Craters of the Moon MTB Park in Taupo attracted one of the largest group of riders of any event in the country. 

2016 saw 23 countries across the globe participate with the majority of international visitors coming from Australia. So, if you are looking for an excuse to visit New Zealand this 2017 year, the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is the perfect excuse. You can sign up for this event, spend time in Taupo and then when the event is over, you can check out many other stunning cycling opportunities in the Central North Island; take a look at ridenz.co for a more MTB focused website in the region. It pays to organize well ahead of time, as this amazing event sees the population of Taupo almost double with more than 17,000 spectators and supporters streaming in for one big fun-filled weekend.  As part of the experience, the Great Lake Cycle Trail should not be missed.  It is highly recommended to plan your New Zealand trip to allow enough time to visit some of NZ’s Great Rides like the Timber Trail, Waikato River Trails and the Mountains to Sea. All of these rides are within easy reach of Taupo and would make your journey to New Zealand a fantastic cycling-centric holiday.

If the fast and furious criterium racing appeals to you, then you can also experience the criterium event which is held on Friday night through the centre of Taupo in front of a good sized crowd with cycling legend Robbie McEwen providing non-stop commentary, for the record Robbie also took part in the160km Round The Lake fun event. If you want to ride in the criterium, you can enter the elite category (provided you have an elite license) and mix it up with the big boys of New Zealand racing.  There is an open category also.

ABOUT LAKE TAUPO CYCLE CHALLENGE

The first organised ride around Lake Taupo was in 1977 when local schoolteacher, Walter de Bont gathered 25 others to ride with him to raise funds for what was then the local IHC charity.  Walter, who was the event patron sadly passed away in October 2016. 

The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is best known for its 160-km Round The Lake ride, a one-lap circumnavigation of Lake Taupo, but this is just one of the 13 categories on offer with short and longer road cycling and mountain bike course options for individuals and groups, catering to all levels of cycling and fitness abilities, including young children who ride the 5km Kids Heart Ride.  Because it was the 40th anniversary, it was a blast from the past as retro clad cyclists turned up on their retro bikes for pre-event build up the day before the main 160km event.  There was plenty of colour about as there were prizes up for grabs for the best 70s costume, best retro bike and first across the line on the criterium circuit which provided ample entertainment for the spectators just before the serious criterium racing begun.

According to Event Organizer Aaron Carter, “The Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge is a celebration. It’s an incredible, unique opportunity for thousands of like-minded people to spend time together to connect and share what they love, which seems to be getting off the couch and onto their bikes in one of NZ’s truly great regions, Lake Taupo.”

If you are thinking about planning a New Zealand cycling holiday this year, do consider signing up for the 41st edition of the Lake Taupo Cycle Challenge to be held on Saturday 25 November 2017 and then design the rest of your trip around this amazing New Zealand event. You can jump onto their website to start your planning process, sign up to enter the race this November.

Until next time a big thank you to Daniel to write this amazing article and providing amazing photos.

Have a good week everyone & stay safe on the road.

SD Team.