After a long time, a short hello, but luckily, it’s finally happening again (racing) and there is less time for rest, which is also right, since the season should already be at its peak. After the successful implementation of the national time-trial championship in Pokljuka, the path led me to Siena, where I got to know the roads of the Strade Biance race, which was in my program. From there I travelled directly to Sestriere, which lies at an altitude of 2.000m, the training camp where we were staying in the following weeks was also in the city. The days in Sestrier were similar. Shortly after breakfast, we went for a workout, which usually lasted between three to five hours and contained as many altitude meters as possible. We also used the time and location to see the three most important mountain stages in the summer of the Tour de France. So we rode to the ascent to the Col de la Loze pass, which lays at an altitude of 2,304m and will take place as the king stage of this year’s Tour. We also had the weather on our side. Nice and sunny. All the days were monotonous, focusing on training and rest for thoughts directed at the upcoming race in France.
After 14 days of staying at that altitude, the monotony was interrupted by participation in the Strade Biance race, which we all could hardly wait for. In Siena, where the start and finish of this 184km long race with typical macadam sections was, the heat was waiting for us, as the thermometers showed over 40°C and so it was on the day of the race. It shook us, as we came to the race from a pleasant 18-20°C, which was the average temperature in Sestirer. But regardless, it was nice to stand at the starting line of such a famous race after a long time with all the names and masters of one-day classics around me. The already difficult race was further aggravated this time by the heat, which is usually not present in this race, as the race is scheduled for the early spring month. Nevertheless, I “enjoyed” the race because the macadam sections did not cause me any problems and I am also very satisfied with the result achieved. My teammate Davide Formolo achieved an excellent second place, and I brought myself to the finish line in an excellent 13th place, so we as a team showed that we trained well and that we are on the right track for my second goal of the season, the Tour de France.
When the race was over, we returned to Sestriere, where we continued training, staying there for another week, until the race Milano-San Remo. It was my first time at this race and I can say it was nice to stand at the start of one of the oldest classics. As in the previous race we couldn’t do anything about the heat, and this time the problem of the macadam sections was replaced by the length of the race (300km). It was expected that the race would unfold on the last two ascents, but unfortunately our two sprinters could not keep up with the pace of the groups, and so in the end only Formola and I were among the first. I also drove great in this race and in the end I finished 12th. And I will surely be back for an even better result next time.
After the end of the race, we traveled to France, where I will start (tomorrow) a stage – five-day race Criterium Du Dauphine, which will be without a timetrial but will have ascents to the finish in every stage. This race will also serve as a good training before the start of the Tour, as our team will be similar to the on which will be standing on the starting line of the big Tour at the end of August.