Firenze – Montecatini cycle ride for charity

Yesterdays race was frankly impressive, well organised, fun to a point… it absolutely bucketed down all day and i mean it rained very very heavy just like when we rode to Lucca and Montecatini Alto way back in March….the difference this time was the temp had dropped to 6 degs yesterday….it was very cold with rain above and sprays from cyclists in front it felt we were almost swimming at times!!…i tell you how cold it was it was snowing in Abetone!!

This event was the first ever cycle event to promote “Dynamo Camp” a charity organisation set up to help raise money to allow children who have terminal illness to have an amazing holiday experience with similar kids enjoying activities they have never experienced before… this idea was developed by Paul Newman there are 2 locations in Italy one in Milan and one In San Marcello nr Abetone…

I was amazed frankly at the organisation for just 200 riders (many were put off by the weather) many were women…we had 20 motorbike outriders to help run a rolling road closure programme, 3 ambulances, 1 medical car, 2 police outriders, broom wagon, and commissar car.. we had Tv’s and local press at the start of the event.

Before i could get to the start line the usual formalities for a simple charity ride!!!….cycle licence & medical certificate, i had none and as usual Massimo worked his magic and i was on the start line.

We headed out from the start… it was like the start of a Giro stage with so much fanfare i almost forgot it was still raining..

We headed out on beautifully smooth roads all part of the world champ route and we headed flat out to Montecatini Terme we ended up in a no of groups but always with motorbike support we felt very safe as we hit at times 36 – 40km but only briefly as i didn’t want to blow up….you boys would have loved it.

we climbed San Baronto tough little climb outside Pistoia and headed to Montecatini with a group of Milanese women still wearing shorts and without foot covers they were tough, tanned and legs as skinny as Pantani….but they really drove the group to the finish at Montecatini T….was the first and only rest stop before you were then meant to climb to San Marcello….but our group had enough after a cantucci biscuit and hot tea!!!

overall it was a great experience for a very worthwhile cause..

This lady is Edita Pučinskaitė connected with the Montecatini cycle team, she is a previous World Road Race Champion, twice tour of Italy overall winner and Tour De France overall winner basically she was fast!! in fact i never saw after we said hi at the start!!