Cycling Race: Giro D’Italia
Giro D’Italia is a race that is very close to my heart, as an Italian I do feel the joy of watching this historical race. Last year it was the first time that I have watched the race seriously and it was a great experience.
Up until then I had never realized all that was involved in a cycling race before, I wasn’t aware of all the details and funny fact is that I’ve learnt so much with the race, it just made be of the race even more. At the end, I’ve bought a Giro D’Italia jacket for me.
Learnings for the Cycling Race
At this stage in 2015, I was in my early days of Triathlon Training and still getting to know all that was involved with the bike leg of the race. Watching a cycling race gave me more confidence to train and taught me a few things that I don’t think I would have learnt at this early stage.
Drafting: I never heard about it before the race. Basically is a technique that you can use to follow another cyclist, you will feel that you don’t have as much contact with the wind and you will be cycling ‘in their gap’, making less effort that you would if you were by yourself, consequently you will save energy.
Eating: I wasn’t aware of all the possibilities of eating during a long cycling training and this race just opened my eyes to it. I’ve started eating energy gels during my cycling training after watching Giro D’Italia. And let me tell you the proper feeding during cycling training makes a huge difference.
Gear: I Loved their cycling computers, up until this day I was still using my mobile phone with an app to rely on information for my cycling training, it was then that I made the decision to purchase a proper gear for my cycling training.
Clothes: Not so connected with the race itself but more into the cycling training, I had to purchase a cycling short, that cushioning is essential once you start to have long and frequent cycling training. And don’t even bother going for the cheap ones, you will regret it.
Meeting the Professionals & understanding the race
As part of the cycling race , I’ve met a few famous cyclists watching the Giro D’Italia, particularly during 2015’s race Alberto Contador (which won the race) and Fabio Aru, a younger cyclist from Astana professional cycling team.
Mikel Landa a Spanish rider was also one that caught my attention he was the one that was always in front of Fabio Aru, ‘working for him’. It was then that I understood that cycling is a team strategy race as the riders have to take turns in front of the peloton or in front of their principal cyclist. They use the drafting technique to pull their most important rider. This way they can ensure that this particular rider keeps his strength for the final km.
It’s on the final km that the race itself take shape, whoever managed to get until this part of the race, with enough energy will now have the chance to fight for the victory. In the last km, the riders begin to ‘run'(or sprint), some do it for bluff just to get the other cyclists to follow them then they would burn what’s is left of their energy too soon and might not be able to keep up until the finish line.
It’s an acting strategy, the cyclists need to figure out the exact moment that they should make the move and sprint into the finish line. It’s electrifying. To me, it’s the best part of the race.
Can’t wait for May 6th to watch 2016 Giro D’Italia again, join me! It’s a great motivational strategy for your cycling leg at triathlon.