Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Cyprus Mountain Bike Races and Finale Ligura, Itlay Cannondale Camp

Phoenix->London->Larnaca, Cyprus for four races-> Rome ->Genova-> Finale Ligura, Italy for Cannondale Camp -> Genova-> Milan-> Larnaca, Cyprus to get bags (headcold=DNS last race) ->London->Johannesburg -> Durban -> Pietermaritzburg for World Cup #1

Training and racing in Cyprus complete!  The original plan was to race all 5 Cyprus races before heading to South Africa. Then I was invited to join the Cannondale Factory Racing team in Italy for a team camp. Luckily the camp fit right between the stage race and the last XC. It ended up being a bit too much and I (along with Jeremiah Bishop and others) ended up with a headcold. JB flew back to the USA and raced well at Mellow Johnny's, ProXCT#1; I flew back to Cyprus and decided to skip the last Cyprus race. Here is a quick re-cap of my travels:

I flew to Cyprus on my own again this year, but this time shared a 2-bedroom apartment with Maltese racer Stephania Magri (GB Cycles). Both Todd and Steph's boyfriend Ruben flew in later for the stage race which worked out really well as Steph and Ruben were awesome flatmates!

February 19 XC Race #1 Oroklini, Cyprus:

Victory #1, I remembered how to drive on the left side of the road (just don't ask Steph how well), luckily she is really mellow and positive. If in doubt, floor it. Right? Victory #2, Steph and I found the course.

Mike and the Sunshine Cup staff are the friendliest people you will ever find. Somehow they all remembered my name from last year and made me feel like I was their friend who just returned home. I had a great race, but flatted near the end and lost 4-5 spots. I forgot how hard it is to go race pace! This is going to be an awesome high end training camp.

Mid week training: 

Cyprus Friends.  I love Cyprus, everyone is so friendly. Michalis (right) helped me with logistics and took us on a long training ride mid week, we pre-rode the Point 2 Point course (day 2 of the stage race) and the XC course.

Limassol Bike Lane 

A Mom and Pop shop where I waited out a rain shower during a training ride. The owner kept asking what I was doing riding in the rain, I said I didn't know it was going to rain and he walked outside and pointed to the clouds. Then said "Wait one hour, then you can ride."

Do we have these in the States?

Todd and Ruben (Steph's significant other) arrived to help us in the stage race.

Waiting for Todd at Cyprus airport. One day I'll have one of these chairs in the motorhome.

February 24, 25, 26 = Kapedes Stage Race (TT, Point to Point, XC):

Three days of racing against really fast racers in a cool old mountain town.

Photos above by Todd

Facebook photo by Nikos Nic

Facebook photo by Christopher Papakyriakou

Interesting to see Tucson rock training paying off. Thumbing through all these photos, Steph pointed out that most riders decided to run this section.

Post Race Frappe

This tractor did not fit through the roads with all the racers cars and he was not very happy about it.  He had a word with everyone, but we couldn't understand, I smiled and Todd took his photo, such tourists.

Todd has a new toy, a Canon EOS rebel T2i with different flashes and lenses. After last year he decided that we need better photos of all the places we are going. After the stage race we played with the camera.

by Todd

by Krista

Feb 28th On to Italy:
I knew absolutely nothing about the camp except Cannondale sent me an email with my plane ticket info and said someone would be picking me up at the airport. Alex Grant and the guys got there earlier this week so I'd been watching his facebook to see what's going on.

Todd and I can't seem to stay in the same town for long. He had just arrived in Cyprus and was already taking me to the airport to head off to Italy.

My view of Rome from the Airport cafe during my 5 hour layover. I bought a book to see what I was missing, it's in German; there was an English version but I need to learn German. A Venchi Cioccolato Extra Fondente Bar and and English to Italian phrase book completed my airport purchases.

We hit the ground running in Italy, non-stop and no sleep till I got back to Cyprus. Cannondale knows how to do it! I am more in love with my bikes than I was before the trip if that is possible. The innovative thinking and dedication that goes into the design process is inspiring.

First night, introduction of Cannondale athletes to the press.

Next morning, Scalpel getting special attention.

Cannondale city, we took over the hotel.

Two days of riding. Check out all the Osprey packs.


Martin Gujan

I know very few words, but I used them a lot. Buongiorno, Buonasera, Arrivederci, Grazie, Prego, Ciao.
And of course I ordered cappuccinos in the afternoon; I know better, but just couldn't help it.

March 2nd:

All-day flying, Genova Italy, to Rome, back to Milan (near Genova) and finally "home" to Larnaca, Cyprus. I learned a bit more about Cyprus and it's history on the flight back.

A sign to the Turkish settlers as you exit the Larnaca airport. Turkey currently occupies the northern part of Cyprus. Some info here.

Our friend Kotsios, owner of Limossol Cycling Center

Packed  up again for South Africa

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