“Why am I here? The bed was so cosy”. This is not a phrase of a still drowsy student, but this is me, on the NOVE COLLI grid, with other twelve thousand participants.
We are at Porto Canale of Cesenatico, a cool and sunny morning. 20 minutes before 6.00 a.m. "I Know, I am early, but I did not want to miss the appointment!".
The months of training are many and the constant doubt results in a few simple words: “will I be able to do it?”. Meanwhile, the gates open. The grids start one after the other and we set off, or rather, we ride.
Up to Bertinoro the group is solid, all around is flatland and the coffee’s not kicked in yet, so let’s go calmly. The first climb passes quickly and immediately begins the descent, group still compact, it is possible to see that we love each other...
At Pieve di Rivoschio the situation changes, the group gets longer and longer and everyone has to start following their own pace, looking for their ideal little group to share the adventure with.
Unbelievably I am already on the third climb, Ciola, which will take me to the 'notorious' BARBOTTO, I have to be honest, with the right bike gears and the right pace is nothing impossible, just do not get caught unprepared at the last km, with an average gradient of 14%.
I find a little group that keeps the pace with me and in no time I am in Savignano sul Rubicone, 15 Km to the finish line. The pace has already picked up and behind the other cyclists, it's not even that hard to do.
Last bend before the straight road and then straight to the finish line, Garmin stopped and race saved.
Climbing ended, I stop at the rEst stop reserved for customers of the LUNGOMARE BIKE HOTEL, Giuliano and Primula are there waiting for me, owners as well as my grandparents, who as good lovers of their role want me to eat, drink, rest (there are also sun-loungers!), within 5 minutes because "they see me a little wasted away”.
Skilfully I eat something on the spot and I take off again in the direction of Sogliano, following the 130 Km course (studying occupied and still occupies most of my time so I didn't have the time to train for the 200 km race)
How long did it take me to finish the race? Maybe I'll share it with you at the next Nove Colli! ;)
The 50th Edition of the Nove Colli Granfondo will take place next year, but I wanted to share with you the feelings of being there, on the grid – few seconds before the start.
In the meantime, I would like to invite you to take part in "SULLE STRADE DELLA NOVE COLLI", a cycle tour with a vintage flavor. Organized to savor the taste of pedaling together without a stopwatch, in perfect 80s style.
I hope that this cycling event with a vintage flavor could gather all of us, with the sole desire of spending time together on our bicycles and with the hope that it will mark a new start for everyone and everything.
A hug from Villamarina of Cesenatico,