Thursday, August 6, 2009

Ironbike Prologue

Ciao!! After a very long trip back from Italy (off course consisting of lugging bike boxes and bags through train stations, on to buses, over cobblestone streets, through cities, and at airports) we are finally back home. I was hoping to post some results during the race, since I brought my new fancy IPhone with me, but there just never seemed to be one extra minute at the end of the day.

This year's Ironbike once again started in Entraque, a small town a couple of hours by train outside Turin. Eric and I were able to spend a few days with Roberto Ghidoni and his wife Vanna prior to the race at their home in the village of Ludizzo. Eric knows Roberto from Iditasport in Alaska, and I was very happy to finally meet "the Italian Moose", his wife, and daughter Ghinni. I could dedicate a whole post to our amazing stay with them in their 1000 year old stone tower where they live off the land and their cows but I would never get to the race....

The prologue was pretty uneventful with the exception that I actually missed the 2nd part of the race. The initial race took off in 2 heats and did a loop around the town. I rode pretty conservatively since I knew that the few penalty points I would accumulate wouldn't really matter much in the overall standings at the end of the 8 days. As soon as I we finished (around 16 minutes for me) I took a long shower in the town's swimming facility and then went to check my phone to see if my family had called. My parents and 2 sisters, Ulrika and Sofia, had agreed to come from Sweden to watch us and be our race support. They had flown in to Turin, rented an RV, and planned to follow the Ironbike for the week. Even though I had explained the "slight disorganization and confusion" around the race, I was a little nervous that it was going to be too much for them. The combination of language barrier, Italian culture, bike scene drama.... I was hoping they could handle it.

The rest of the Kobins had made it to Entraque. We met up with them at the start line and headed into town to watch the 2nd part of the race. Last year, the top 30 riders from the prologue had to do a 2nd, shorter prologue to determine who was going to wear the leader's jersey for the first stage. I had no visions of being in the top 30, but when we reached the finish line area I heard my name being called. Frantically trying to find someone who could translate, it was explained to me that the 2nd race was going off in 5 minutes, and the rules had changed: This year it was the top 30 men and top 3 women who had to race a 2nd time. The confusion begins.....

After talking with a few of the organizers I determined that missing the 2nd prologue wasn't going to have a huge impact on the overall standings. This 2nd part of the prologue was mostly to race for the leader's jersey, and according to the race organizers it was OK if I missed it. I really didn't feel like putting on my bike clothes again, running back to the camp for my bike to race for 5 minutes. Instead we watched the race, and then went to our favorite grocery shop and bought food for dinner which we had in my parents little RV.

No comments: