Just been watching Tom Pidcock win the mountain biking gold medal at Tokyo 2021. The urban triathlon route earlier today wasn’t very inspiring but the mountain biking route – in the hills outside of Tokyo – was much better. I should of course have been there; not competing(!!) but cycling through Japan… But there you go. Or rather, there I didn’t go. An email arrives from Italy to lift my spirits. It’s about two new cycling routes in the Trentino area of northern Italy. Trentino is basically the hilly bit to the north-west of Venice, and much more cycle-friendly than the nearby iconic coastal resort.
I’ve never entered a cycling sportive in my life… but I’m a sucker for a good poster and these posters from the people who organise the Eroica events have featured several times in the past on CyclingEurope.org. They’ve just sent through the complete set for 2021 – yes, it appears that they are starting again… – and the first of their cycles is actually today in South Africa.
The countries of continental Europe and the European Union itself have been much criticised in the (right-wing) British media in recent weeks on matters relating to the distribution of the COVID vaccines. In those criticisms there is, of course, a non-too-subtle dollop of British smugness. To at least 48% of the British population (of which I am part), these are sentiments that make us squirm. They are predictable and fail to take into account the ‘bigger picture’ of a continent which, in terms of the quality of people’s lives, is light years ahead of most parts of backward, squalid Britain.
There are few more scenic cycle routes in the whole of Europe than the one that takes you from Olbia to the rural village of San Pantaleo. Indeed, this is a journey that will offer up breathtaking sights of the northeast of the island, which is where the more well-to-do prefer to holiday as opposed to the all-inclusive vibe you’ll find down south in the capital Cagliari.
A photographic retrospective looking back over 11 years of cycling Europe…
Usually the first of the three Grand Tours, the 2020 Giro d’Italia gets underway this month after being rescheduled amidst the coronavirus pandemic. While the startlist is still yet to be confirmed, we do know that last year’s winner Richard Carapaz won’t be defending his title, as the Ineos Grenadiers’ cyclist rode at the recent Tour de France and instead, the British team will be pinning their hopes on Geraint Thomas.