Mille Miglia – Day 3

So far Martin Lucas is the only Willesden rider to have passed through the Bolsena Control at 776 kms. The section down to here from Florence is a tough one with plenty of climbing. Martin should now be heading back to the Sienna control at 995km.

The Bolsena control may have now closed as we are now out of the time limit, so far only 180 out of 269 starters have officially passed through this control. However our riders may be pressing on towards the Sienna Control at 995km in the hope they can catch up some time.

Julian Holden has “packed” on the event and the following is a posting he made on the YACF Audax forum ….

Suppose I’d better tell my tale of shame before the heroic completion ride reports get in.

Fast start at about 21:30 but the pace was too high for me and I fell off the back of my group at about 77km. Got to the first control (102km) at 12:55. Lit out again and was caught up by a Toothgrinder/Judith Swallow groupetto, who I presume must have waited to finish dinner etc, before starting and rode with them for about 10k before dropping off the back again. I was clocking around 26km/h solo and was very happy with that.

I was one of the last to the second control (186km) at about 4:55. Grabbed a coffee from the bar and headed off. Saw 200k at about 6:05 and dawn soon after. Spent rather too long riding into the rising sun, hoping passing trucks would see me, and made the third control and first food stop (268km) at 9:30. Stayed there until 10:10 to recover.

The wheels rather fell off my enterprise in this stage. I was Ok for the first 60km but then started to feel very tired. This stage is (with apologies to our Italian hosts) dull. It is dead flat with straight roads. It’s sunny, fortunately I don’t think it was more than about 26C yesterday as shade is rare. The area is nearly all intensively cultivated so there’s not many places to stop to grab a sleep in peace.Every 30 seconds a huge truck filled with fruit blasts past you enroute to Europe’s supermarkets. It was getting close to 17:00 before I arrived in Faenza (388km).

I felt like death and the controllers suggested I got a quick sleep. I had a lie down for 30 mins but couldn’t sleep so headed off again although I knew that with the way I was going and the speed that I climb I was unlikely to make make Dicomano much before the cutoff so would not have much time for sleep there before the next climb. After about 500m down the road it was clear that I was having trouble focussing and that proceeding any further without sleep was looking for trouble so got off the bike.

So the moral of this story is… Sometimes riding on the flat is harder than riding hills. Seems that I’ve spent all Spring playing around with gearing and practising riding hills on hot days when I should have been on the fens working on my boredom threshold.

Jules – the man who dropped out of the MI without seeing a mountain.

Meanwhile the megafast groupetto of five Italian riders has now reduced to three. They continue to rip up the route and passed through the 995km control averaging just under 24 kph (including all time off the bike).

John Davies
19 September 2010

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