The Unknown & The Traditions , China & Italy

Ciao SaddleDrunkers,

We are pleased to announce the collaboration between Emilia Romagna Region & the Granfondo Yunnan aimed to promote cycling tourism and non professional cycling towards the two regions and scout a brand new tourist market such as China.

The project has succeeded thanks to a teamwork among APT Servizi - the Emilia Romagna Tourist Board , Terrabici - the Emilia Romagna consortium of bike hotels and incoming tour operators (www.terrabici.com) - and the two cycling companies SaddleDrunk & Nordic Ways, where everyone aim to promote cycling tourism in respective destination using the Granfondo events .

Colourful Yunnan Granfondo Cycling Festival (better known as Granfondo Yunnan) reputation has grown year after year around the world from the first edition in 2014, making this one of the most favourites cycling events in Asia, hosting now 1,000 cyclists, from 35 different countries, running six stages in a gorgeous setting.

By the partnership with Granfondo Yunnan, Emilia Romagna Tourist Board & Terrabici Consortium will have the opportunity to introduce and promote the Granfondos which make up the "Romagna Challenge" Cycling Marathons Circuit (http://www.romagnachallenge.com/), enabling the Granfondo Yunnan's participants and non participants to discover a challenging art of tourism in Italy, and enabling the Italian’s participants to discover China.

Some more information about the Cycling Experience in Emilia Romagna - Cycling in Emilia Romagna is definitely a wealth of opportunities for “bike enthusiasts”! This Italian Region is worldwide renowned for history, art, traditions, food and wine treasures, as well as fascinating itineraries between the Adriatic Sea and Apennines and - not to be forgotten - the several great cycling champions of past and present. Carefully planned routes allow cycling tourists to discover nature parks and reserves of great beauty, sightseeing fortified medieval villages set on hill's tops, taste some of the best and most deliciuos Italian Food and Wines (the Region is reputed to be the Italian Food Valley). A huge range of opportunities as for distance, elevation gain and gradient. The routes are suitable for different types of cyclists: cyclists who practice cycling as a sport, leisure cyclists who like to go on excursions by bike and the mountain bike lovers.

2020 is going to be again a great "Cycling Year" in Emilia Romagna. From March till June almost every week-end a fully schedule of Granfondos running from Bologna to Cattolica at the southern border with the Marche region. In detail the Granfondo Cassani (Faenza) Granfondo del Po (Ferrara), Granfondo Dieci Colli (Bologna), Granfondo del Sale (Cervia), Granfondo degli Squali (Cattolica), Granfondo Ride Riccione (Riccione), Granfondo Pantani (Cesenatico) . Moreover next may the 50th edition of the Granfondo Nove Colli in Cesenatico will host on the same route, in the same week, one Giro d’Italia stage, plus more two stages will take place in the region (to be defined).

Lastly but not least the cooperation between APT Servizi - the Emilia-Romagna Region Tourist Board - and Terrabici - the consortium of 43 bike hotels and two incoming tour operators specialised in customized accommodation and services for bikers -, which is the ground of a successfully best practice to promote cycling tourism towards this region worldwide.


If you want more informations about the events mentioned here, please feel free to get in touch with us via the contact form to find out about the various travel packages available for those destinations.

Ciao & Stay Safe

SD Team

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

Granfondo Yunnan 2018...Part 1..

Ni Hao !

Ciao & Welcome to China in the beautiful & colourful Yunnan area.

A view of Mangshi from the Temple.

A view of Mangshi from the Temple.

For me is the second time attending the lovely Granfondo Yunnan thanks to the great relationship with Niclas Hellqvist & Kris Van de Velde from Nordic Ways.

We(Tom & I) arrived from London on Friday in the local town of Manghsi where Kris picked us up from the airport to go to the hotel followed with a lovely catch up chat to inform me of all the new changes are in place this year edition since 3 years ago when i have last attended.

The Start Line!!

The Start Line!!


The Saturday,which I was supposed to be home due to wife’s birthday, I was instead a prepping the bikes and get few bits & pieces(cit A.P) sorted before the 8.5KM Prologue (Individual Climb Time Trial) in the afternoon.

As expected knowing the great qualities of Kris to pick and choose for his events only the best routes, that in the afternoon we were going to have a go at something peculiar & stunning.

The start was by the side of a lake next to a dam,then we had to race around the perimeter of this lake with some “mangia e bevi” before hitting a nice 1.1 Km tree covered climb with 8% average incline finishing at the top by the entrance of a temple. Some of the serious boys here racing for the prizes made it in a stunning pace.

Saturday night local dinner in Mangshi Square

Saturday night local dinner in Mangshi Square

Stage 1, on Sunday was the so called “ Border Ride” ,105km race to the town of Ruili coasting along the border with Myanmar(Burma) and finishing at the border check point. Due to the location & altitude the climate is tropical, where trees,plants & flower grow freely all year round to enable us to experience an enrich sceneries with plenty of colours & smells.

Lunch Stop.

Lunch Stop.

After the stage some of us went together for lunch to an amazing restaurant.The groups of us was a mix of 14 riders from 4 continents and 13 nationalities.Taking part at Nordic ways events are always great experience,because thanks to our passion of cycling individuals from different origins comes together for the sport.

Dinner time.

Dinner time.

Stage 2,on Monday we start & finished from the border check point routing us through the city of Ruili before hitting only after 9km from the start a nice 16Km climb with an average of 5% with peaks up to 10%. The ascent was pretty via little villages & nature before reaching the peak and throwing us descending into a false plain with a misty & foggy atmosphere. Followed by that we had at km 56 a climb for 10KM with an average of 6% before riveting in a serious of roller coasting hills taking us back to the finish line…

Tom being chased.

Tom being chased.

Kris has been good to all of us participant giving us a rest day,so we could rest but also move from Ruili to Tengchong for the Queen’s stage(Stage 3) of the event with 185km with a total climb of 3000m.

Teng Chong at Sunset.

Teng Chong at Sunset.

For now is Ciao & Arrivederci from Yunnan on Sunday the 11th of November part 2 will be published…

STAY TUNED TO BE CONTINUED……

SD

The Passionate Italian Weekend

Aprile 2018

Ciao a Tutti,

It has been a long time that I have not written something about Cycling Experiences to share with all our followers.

AYRTON SENNA MEMORIAL

AYRTON SENNA MEMORIAL

I will try not to bore you too much.

Few weekends ago a group of 16 from the SaddleDrunk Cycling Friends Club ( join us on Strava via this link ) went for a long weekend in Faenza, Emilia Romagna, Italy, Europe, Planet Earth.

They flew out early friday morning from the beautiful London to Bologna, capital of the some of the best Italian food…Like Bolognese Sauce the way it is called outside Italy,  Ragu another good one, Cappelletti, Tortellini, Ravioli , Tortelli, la “ “Mortazza” (Mortadella) & much more…not to mention that Bologna host the oldest university in Europe….

Agriturismo La Sabbiona

Agriturismo La Sabbiona

SD staff & I pick them up from the airport and whisked them away to Imola to have an amazing lunch inside the tragically famous Formula 1 race track  where 2 pilots lost their lifes long time ago…RIP Ratzenberg & Senna where we visited their memorials. Really a big touch feeling for me as I saw it with my eyes that tremendous weekend…

OK!!..let’s get a grip and bang on Cycling…We got to the lovely Agriturismo La Sabbiona, after check & prepared out bikes we headed out to the lovely Brisighella a Medieval town.

Local Delicacies

Local Delicacies

After our lovely ride in the hills to get new fresh oxygen in our lungs, plenty of fun during the ride including a lovely crash in the first downhill.

We refreshed ourselves & headed out to Town for a meal in a traditional Osteria.

Osteria la Sghisa as usual made us feeling at home with their friendly staff and the astonishing food where we partied until late to celebrate Laura's Birthday.

Laura's Gluten Free cake

Laura's Gluten Free cake

The Saturday, we woke up gently by the sounds of the "Galletto" in the farm.Followed up by an Italian & Intercontinental breakfast fuelling up for our day on the bike. 

We spent all day on a bike touring around the hills and preparing for the Granfondo Le Cime Di Romagna 2018 the following day organised by the Gruppo Sportivo Ciclistico Avis Faenza.

Local Art

Local Art

In the evening we had another amazing meal at Casa Spadoni where everyone was able to enjoy more culinary delicacies from the area of Emilia Romagna

Italian Style Aperitif Time

Italian Style Aperitif Time

A team photo at the feed station!!

A team photo at the feed station!!

The Sunday morning we had an early wake due to the 7:30 start of the event.The 3 various distances were perfect for the different group abilities. The distance covered were Corto, Medio & Lungo

Everyone had great fun,and we all enjoyed the “LOCAL’s” attentions, the friendly event’s staff,the well organised event and routes and the well stocked feed stations.

We were awarded 2 trophies due to be the furthest team. The trophies were a really long & thick      “ SALAMI “ and a big ceramic vase from one of the local ceramist in Faenza.

Faenza is very well known in the world thanks to be the home of Ceramics.

Prize Ceremony to be the farthest travelled Team.

Prize Ceremony to be the farthest travelled Team.

The last day of our trip was a realxing day where we had a really slow where we enjoyed our breakfast.

Our local host Serena owner of La Sabbiona, prepared our class room with flour,eggs, rolling pins, chef’s hat & all other items needed to complete the cooking course.

At the end of the course all the “students” were able to eat the food made during the class & well earned after sweating.

As the weekend was more than amazing, we will make this an annual event for the club.Therefore if you like to be part of just join us at ride@saddledrunk.com

I hope you enjoyed the reading and remember to be safe on the road.

Ciao

SD 

Setting new best FTP's while making Pasta.

Setting new best FTP's while making Pasta.

Tel Aviv presents The First Olympic Velodrome in the Middle East

Tel Aviv, Wednesday May 2nd 2018, The City of Tel Aviv unveiled Israel's newest Velodrome, the most advanced indoor bike racing arena in the Middle East. The Velodrome’s unveiling took place a few days before the start of the Giro d’Italia in Israel, one of the world’s most significant sporting events scheduled to reach Tel Aviv on Saturday May 5th, marking the first time a segment of the Giro d’Italia is held outside of Europe. The Velodrome will be seen by billions of viewers from around the world this upcoming Saturday, as the Giro d ’Italia cyclists will ride passed it during the Tel Aviv leg of the race.         

The unveiling took place yesterday, Tuesday May 1st in the presence of Mr. Ron Huldai, The Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, The Chairman of the Israel Cycling Federation and professional cyclists from the Israel Cycling Academy, who tested the race tracks for the first time together with Sylvan Adams, the Honorary President of the Giro’s “Big Start” in Israel.  The tracks have also been tested by Gilles Peruzzi, the Director of the Velodrome Department at The International Cycling Union (UCI) who ensured that the tracks meet the UCI standards in order to be able to welcome international competitions at the facility. In addition, The Israel Cycling Union has submitted its candidacy to host the UCI Junior Track Cycling World Championship in 2021.

At the event, the Mayor of Tel Aviv-Yafo, Mr. Ron Huldai said: "3 years ago, Sylvan Adams told me that it makes no sense that a global city such as Tel Aviv-Yafo doesn’t have a professional cycling facility. The Municipality took on the challenge, and in a few months we will inaugurate the Velodrome, the first Olympic racing arena in the Middle East.”

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“Thanks to Sylvan, the Giro d’Italia is held outside of Europe for the first time and will be departing from Israel this weekend. We decided that this is a great opportunity to reveal this wonderful arena, which was built on the grounds of the National Sport Center.

In honor of Sylvan Adams’ generous contribution to important social projects in the city and his love for cycling, we've decided to name the velodrome after him.”

“In Tel Aviv the "bicycle revolution" happened a long time ago; bicycles are a daily mode of transport for most Telavivians, and a perfect alternative for private cars. The velodrome will provide cyclists a place to train and will promote professional sports activities in the cycling field and will also contribute to the development of the cycling industry in Israel. This weekend we will host one of the most important cycling competitions in the world and thanks to this amazing arena, we plan to host the most significant international indoor cycling competitions as well."

Sylvan Adams, The Honorary President of the Giro’s “Big Start” in Israel and the initiator of the Velodrome in Tel Aviv: “The new Velodrome aims to encourage local youth to experience the cycling world as well as promote physical activity and sports. This is the most advanced cycling facility in the Middle East and we aspire to host international competitions here with the participation of our neighboring countries. This Velodrome will allow us to use sports as a medium to foster closeness and good neighborliness between our bordering countries. Today, cycling teams from Bahrain and the United Arab Emirates landed in Israel in order to take part in the Giro, they will ride in Israel, experience the velodrome and understand that they are always welcome here and we can compete and train together!”

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The Velodrome is an Olympic training arena for track cycling featuring steeply banked oval tracks, consisting of two 180-degree circular bends connected by two straights.

The ride is carried out on an elliptical wood path, with 45 degrees banking. A 3-story complex is being built adjacent to the Velodrome, and will include a cafeteria, a bicycle store, changing rooms and a doctor’s office. The two structures will be connected via a tunnel.

The Velodrome is located next to the National Sports Center in Tel Aviv and its construction was made possible through a Municipal investment of 70 Million NIS.   When completed, the velodrome will meet the Olympic standards of a 250 meters cycling track. The Velodrome comprises 900 tons of steel, 620 seats, 17 thousand connecting plates and 100 thousand screws and aims to attract cyclers from Israel and around the world.

Thank you for the infos Tel Aviv International Press.

Good luck for Giro....