Montevergine is located near Avellino, in the comune of Mercogliano, in Campania, central Italy. The mountain is a limestone massif and part of the Apennine chain. Under the peak, at some 1,270 m, is the Sanctuary of MontevergineNotes 1 – where the climb ends. Starting from Mercogliano, the Montevergine ascent is 17.1 km long. Over this distance, you climb a total of 855 meters. The average percentage thus is 5%.
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Mount Etna is an active stratovolcano on the east coast of Sicily, Italy. With a height of currently 3,329 meters / 10,922 ft (this varies with summit eruptions), it is the highest active volcano in Europe outside the Caucasus, and also the highest peak in Italy south of the Alps. To date, the Giro d’Italia has visited the volcano four times, three times to the Rifugio Sapienza and once to Piano Bottaro lower down. The last visit was in 2017, where Jan Polanc, the Slovenian rider of UAE Team Emirates won stage 4, as the last survivor of a four-men breakaway. The fifth visit will be in 2018 edition.
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Between 1946 and 1951, the Giro d’Italia had a special jersey, “maglia nera” (English: black jersey), for the last-placed rider. There was a real competition between many riders, to win this highly-coveted jersey. The last-placed rider would rode the final victory lap with the race winner each year around the historic Vigorelli Velodrome in Milan. The last winner of the black jersey was Giovanni Pinarello, founder of the prestigious Pinarello bikes, which went on to equip several winners of the vastly more coveted maglia rosa (race winner’s pink jersey). And, Pinarello is also the winningest bicycle in the Tour de France (13, as of 2017). Now, for the second consecutive year, the Black Jersey is back at Giro d’Italia Under 23, a tribute to Giovanni Pinarello.
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A medieval knight? No, he is a world champion cyclist. Today was the birthday of the French cyclist Louis Darragon (6 February 1883 – 28 April 1918) who won the UCI Motor-paced World Championships in 1906 and 1907. He also finished the race in second place twice, in 1909 and 1911.
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July 9, 1925: in this historic photo, the legendary Italian cyclist Ottavio Bottecchia approaches to the finish line at Tour de France 1925 stage 13, a 275 km going from Nice to Briançon. The monster stage had featured three major ascents, all above two thousand meters: Col d’Allos (2,250 m), Col de Vars (2,108 m) and Col d’Izoard (2,360 m). Fellow Italian Bartolomeo Aymo (sometimes written Bartolomeo Aimo), the Alcyon teammate of Bottecchia’s rival Nicolas Frantz won the stage in 13h 5 min 3sec. Bottecchia finished in second at 9min 57sec, 3 min 40 sec ahead of Frantz, who finished in third, and reinforced his yellow jersey. Bottecchia, who had also won the previous years’ edition and becoming the first Italian to win the Tour de France, started 1925 Tour by winning the first stage, then he won 6th and 7th stages, and made his Tour victory complete by also winning the last stage.
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Today’s historic photo of the day: a mountain pass during the 1925 Tour de France. Frenchman Roger Lacolle (Météore) is leading the group (in the left, walking). The rider going the opposite way is a native, not a competitor.
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Today’s historic photo of the day: on Wednesday, July 5, Frenchman Jean Alavoine (Peugeot-Wolber) crosses over the Col d’Aspin during the Tour de France 1922, stage 6. It was a monster 326 kilometer stage from Bayonne to Luchon, which contains three major climbs: Col d’Aubisque, Col d’Aspin and Col de Peyresourde. Alavoine won the stage in 14 hours 28 minutes and 44 seconds. The second finisher, Victor Lanaers (Automoto) came 16 minutes 43 seconds behind. The overall winner, Firmin Lambot (Peugeot) came third, at 31:05.
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Today’s historic photo of the day: Lucien Lesna during the 1901 Paris-Brest-Paris, with his support car beside him. I love the heroic era of cycling and the clothing of that era. Lucien Lesna (11 October 1863 – 11 July 1932) was a French racing cyclist. He won 1901 and 1902 editions of Paris–Roubaix.
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Today, December 21st is officially the first day of winter. While it is off season for most cyclists, some prefer doing some dirt rides on their mountain bikes. But, finding an affordable mountain bike can be really tricky. And you may don’t want to spend a few bucks which you could use upgrading your road bike or even buying a new one, if you’re like me.
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Colnago Classic series contain two iconic steel frames: the Master and the Arabesque. When these two classics were born in the 1980s, Colnago Master featured the star-shaped tubes that would become a signature of Colnago, and tame lug shaping. The Arabesque was like Master’s counter-thesis: it had more conventionally shaped tubes, but lugs with significantly more flourish. Today, the Master has barely changed from its roots, but the Arabesque has a different story.
Continue reading Colnago 2018 Classic Series (Master and Arabesque)