I spent the better part of my career riding in support of contemporary giants of the sport. They all passed what I call the first name test — if you know to whom I’m referring just by their first name, they’ve made it. Carlos, Thor, Vincenzo, Ivan, and most notably a friend of mine named Peter*, all pass this test.
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It’s a busy time of year, and if you anything like me, you’ve got a lot going on. There’s so much happening close to home right now that it’s all too easy to forget the millions of people around the world who struggle every day with things we take for granted: Clean water, education, seeing a doctor, or making it to work each morning.
This year, we closed out our season with an awesome little weekender in our own backyard. We were excited to revisit Russian River, and to explore more of what this incredible corner of California has to offer, but apparently Mother Nature didn’t get the memo. Driving out of the Bay Area with a mind to do some serious riding, the forecast was for rain, rain, and more rain.
It’s been 20 years since the first edition of l’Eroica rolled out of the piazza in Gaiole, and a lot has changed. The first edition involved less than 100 riders, mainly locals who wanted to celebrate the cycling of yesteryear while also bringing some attention to the Tuscan countryside in order to protect it. Two decades on, and some 7,000 people descend on this sleepy corner of Chianti for what is undoubtedly one of the world’s most iconic and unmissable cycling festivals.
“I first met inGamba when I toured the Pinarello factory in Treviso back in 2013. I remember all the riders were in stunning Giordana kit. Later that year I participated in L’Eroica for the first time. Soon after the 5am start, I was completing the first steep decent on gravel by candlelight. At the bottom I saw the inGamba van. As the race went on they were there again – whenever I needed to remove a jacket or need bottle. Unfortunately, I was not one of their supported riders. On finishing, I said I have to ride with these guys!
InGamba and World Bicycle Relief have been partners for a long time. We’ve done a lot of good together, for some of the most vulnerable people in the world’s poorest countries.
Training for threshold isn’t as scary as it sounds. I promise. It involves some big efforts, but the good news is that it’s also really time effective, so with some concentrated sessions you’ll quickly notice big gains. And if you combine it with some Tempo workouts, which we’ve already covered, you’ll be crushing those climbs in no time.