Ted King here. We thought it was time to profile a few of our clients and what better person to begin than Jay Butler, the first guest to sign up for what I liked to call the Ted King California Wine Sluggin’ Weekender. Admittedly, that’s not the actual name of the tour, but that covered the ground rules of that escapade. We just wrapped up a similar outing three years later here in Paso Robles – a gathering of the inGamba family, both old and new. Jay has been part of this family from the beginning, so we sat down for a chat to see what he really thinks of the whole experience.
The Granfondo Strade Bianche was not one for the faint-hearted this year, as cold and wet weather turned the already-testing parcours into a truly grueling battle against steep gradients and Tuscany’s infamous gravel roads. More than 5,000 riders came from all over the world to take part, and among the many famous faces at the start line were Fabian Cancellara, a three-time winner of the pro event, classics legend and multiple world champion Paolo Bettini, Johan “The Lion of Flanders” Museeuw, and Giro d’Italia legend Ivan Basso.
Elisa Longo Borghini and Michał Kwiatkowski put on a show this weekend at the Strade Bianche, getting the European season well and truly underway with two exciting wins at what is undoubtedly one of the calendar’s great races. And true to form, the inGamba crew were there in the thick of it, cheering on the world’s best riders after spending a week in Chianti sampling the best – and the worst – that Tuscany’s infamous gravel backroads have to offer.
It had been six years since an Italian last won the Giro d’Italia. But there was some hope for the locals at the 1975 edition when Eddy Merckx became ill at the Tour de Romandie and withdrew his entire team from the Giro. The home favorites had another Belgian to worry about however, because Roger de Vlaeminck, Monsieur Paris–Roubaix, was tired of being second best to his countrymen everywhere but on the cobbles. He wanted a Grand Tour win, and the 58th edition of the Corsa Rosa looked like the perfect opportunity. De Vlaeminck was determined to make a point, and so he made a bet with a journalist from the Gazzetta dello Sport that he’d win seven stages – one more than Merckx had managed when he’d romped to the title in ’73.
Let me set something straight: Owning a travel company does not mean you get to spend your life on vacation. I know. I thought it did too. But in between running a growing business and spending the kind of quality time I want to with my wife and kids, I’m lucky if I find an hour to get out on my bike around the Bay Area, let alone jet off to Europe on a week-long bike trip.
To say that I love globes and maps is a real understatement. When I was in third grade, my teacher went on a trip to Australia and I remember listening to his stories and being completely mesmerized. That is when my love for traveling was born and I can say that my fascination with seeing the world carried me through my early 20s.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you’ll know that Pinarello recently dropped their latest superbike, the Dogma F10, to rave reviews. We wanted to spend some time in the saddle before proudly showing off our new fleet, and having crushed the Coast Ride on these brand new machines, we’re delighted to say that somehow our friends in Treviso have managed to improve on what was already the best racing frame that we’d ever seen.