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Tour of Lombardy Prize Draw
This autumn, Rapha offered the opportunity to win a luxury weekend break to attend the last Classic of the 2008 ProTour season, the Giro di Lombardia. As part of their prize, the lucky winner got to ride with ex-pro, Eros Poli, and also had the chance to partake in the Gran Fondo Giro Di Lombardia, the popular sportive which covers an adapted version of the course the previous day.
Weekend review by Ross Muir (La Fuga)
A great weekend was had by our guests at Villa Poggio for the weekend on the shores of Lake Como. The lucky Rapha competition winner and guest were joined by two members of Rapha staff and long standing customers for an extra special tour. After arriving on Friday morning, guests enjoyed a leisurely lunch by the harbour in Bellagio. Special guest, Eros Poli, shared his memories of professional cycling and his obvious passion for food over some authentic local cuisine. After demonstrating how to wash out your espresso cup with a shot of grappa, Eros led a relaxed afternoon ride round the Larian peninsula.
Dinner at the villa came courtesy of our chef for the weekend, Benjamino. Conversation inevitably turned to Eros' famous win over Mont Ventoux and guests were rapt with Eros' insightful and often humorous account of the his professional career and that magical day in particular. The packed day ended with a final glass of wine out on the terrace watching the moonlight twinkle off the water of Lake Como.
On Saturday morning, a short ferry ride took us over to Cadenabbia from where we were headed for the Passo Intelvi and the first climb of the Giro di Lombardia. After watching the break and then the bunch pedal past, we descended back down and caught a return ferry to Bellagio. Disembarking the ferry, the legendary climb of Madonna del Ghisallo stood between our guests and their lunch. On the climb we were joined by numerous other tifosi climbing the hill before settling on a suitable vantage point to watch the race come past. After a hearty lunch, we had enough time to pick up viewing spot before the leaders, led by Michael Rogers of Columbia, powered past. The lampre-led peleton flashed by a minute later intent on setting up the win for favourite Damiano Cunego. The last hour of the race was caught on the video screen inside the Museo del Ciclismo, with Cunego capitalising on the work of his gregarios with an impressive solo move on the approach to Como. The rest of the afternoon was spent amongst the fascinating exhibits of the museo and in conversation with our knowledgeable guide Mario. For dinner, Benjamino once again did us proud with the perfect fuel for the Granfondo the next day.
Sunday was all about the Granfondo. Excited chatter filled the bus on the way to the start. Each participant seemed eager to repeat the exploits of Cunego on the slopes of Ghisallo or the tortuous descent from Civiglio. Our VIP grid positions put us in the midst of the numerous cycling celebrities taking part including the likes of Stephen Roche and Davide Cassani. The next 140km were a condensed version of the pro race the day before taking in some of the most beautiful cycling roads in Italy; the winding lake-side road overhung by autumn trees, the ascent of the Ghisallo providing breathtaking views across the lake and the cork-screw descent of Civiglio plunging down towards Como. After the finish, anecdotes of the day were exchanged over wine from a cafe on the lungolago. A well earned dinner that evening was had at Ristorante Silvio in Bellagio. Guests enjoyed delicious fresh fish, caught that day by the chef, washed down by glassed of the local red.
A leisurely Monday morning was spent exploring Bellagio and enjoying a coffee down by the old harbour. All too soon it was time to leave the shores of Lake Como and catch a flight home.
Race of the falling leaves
Held every October, the Giro di Lombardia or ‘Race of the Fallling Leaves’, is a 242km Classic starting in Mendrisio, in Switzerland, and ending in Como in northern Italy. First run in 1905 as the Milan-Milan, recent tradition has given the newly crowned World Champion (from the World Championships held the previous weekend) a first opportunity to show off his Rainbow Jersey. The race features the revered climb of the Madonna del Ghisallo, with its chapel dedicted to fallen riders, and Italian race watchers or tifosi are always hungry for a home win: Fausto Coppi famously won the race five times; and last year saw victory for another native talent in the shape of Damiano Cunego. As the last 'monument' of the season, this year’s race, to be held on 18th October, will be hotly contested as riders battle for their last chance to enter the history books before the ProTour’s winter break. The race is preceded by the Gran Fondo Giro di Lombardia, a popular sportive adapted from the race route and held the previous day.
The overall winner will receive a weekend for two at the Giro di Lombardia. The winner to be selected at random from the competition entries. Every time you refer a friend to Rapha you get another entry to the competition. So, the more people you refer, the more chance you have of winning.
You will be treated to a full expenses-paid weekend for two people at the Giro di Lombadia during the weekend of 19 October 2008. Guided by luxury sportive tour company, La Fuga, and accompanied by Rapha staff, you will be staying at a hotel on Lake Como. You will be able to watch the race and take part in the Gran Fondo Giro di Lombardia, the sportive held in conjunction with the race.
The grand prize is presented in association with Rapha partners, La Fuga, a luxury travel company that specialises in guided sportive tours in Europe.
A season’s range of Rapha products. The second-prize winner will receive a full kit of Rapha products from the Autumn/Winter range. The prize will include a Jersey, a Jacket, gloves and tights, a selection of the finest cycling clothing worth in excess of £1000 ($2000).
Five runners-up will receive a free subscription to Rouleur magazine for one year.
- RT @sticky_bottle: Meant to say, to be eligible for the @raphacondor team car compeition you have to be a stickybottle twitter follower!
- RT @sticky_bottle: OK folks; nice morning for it. To win a day in the Rapha Condor JLT team car on the Rás last stage, Sunday, just retweet…
- Third team overall for the Men in Black at Stoke last night in the @TourSeries
- 2 be clear that was @johnherety decision to not let @AaronBuggle start. Tour of Korea and Irish National Champs will be his next rendezvous
- Happy to report @AaronBuggle is as good looking as ever after 13 stitches in his chin. Sorry to report not letting him start tomorrow though
- @flammecast @AaronBuggle His Shrone is fine !!!
- Big thanks to all marshals,coms and medical staff on the @anpostras today. Great work despite the numerous demands on their services today.
- Just to let all his girl fans know @AaronBuggle is ok. He's in hospital and will need some surgery on a cut to his chin. Will update later.
- We've just added 13 new rides since the weekend to our Rapha #womens100 Find a Ride list. → http://t.co/ux8c1JCuQc
- The team also racing the Ras in Ireland this week. Currently Aaron Buggle is the team's top placed rider in 15th overall.