CCW Tour de Pyrenees 2016 – Spain for Lunch

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Our third day of riding and what a beauty. Today is the last day that this year’s TdF is in within our region and we visit a stage start. For anyone who has not been to a TdF stage start, this is an amazing experience. You get a close look at the bikes and equipment that these professional riders use day to day. Catch a sneaky look at some equipment that has yet to reach the market. Have a chat and grab a photo with one of your favourite riders and just soak up the carnival atmosphere of the Tour de France.

Tour_de_France_20130704_Aix-en-Provence_070We ride from Luchon, over the Col du Portillon and into Spain. Yes Spain! Just a 10km climb out of Luchon and you are at the Spanish border. We roll down into the town of Bossost, before heading to our destination of todays race start in Vielha Val d’Aran. The race will head to Andorra today, while we will have lunch, before looping back into France and our base in Luchon. Sure to be some fantastic photos and stories to share over dinner. A good day for the GC contenders to stamp some authority and put some time into their competition.

We are currently taking interest for our 2017 Tour de France tour. These are trips that you will never forget. There is high demand for this and our Giro tour so don’t delay else you will miss out.

Register your interest with us by speaking to David or Nick in the shop or on phone 03 9723 5164. Alternatively drop us an email at sales@croydoncycleworks.com.au

See the 2016 Giro D’Italia with us

Croydon Cycleworks 2016  Dolomites tour

Croydon Cycle1415453_10201074382340023_4055617961623846576_oworks are proud to offer another Italian cycling adventure for 2016!  We have been running our popular cycling tours to the French Alps and Pyrenees for quite a few years now as well as a number of trips to Italy. Cycling enthusiasts argue which is the best place to ride, but the legendary Dolomites provide a magnificent backdrop for some epic rides, which are steeped in history and Giro folklore.

We will be running our tour during the 2016 Giro d ‘Italia, where access to riders is easier than the French tour, and it’s not uncommon to hold an umbrella up over a Green edge rider at a stage start, whilst conducting an interesting conversation. Which Aussies are going to star? Adam Hansen? Simon Clarke? Or perhaps Richie Porte in his new BMC colours? You can be there to see it for a lot less than you think! How does $3350 (excludes airfares) sound?

 

Here are some key features of our 2016 Giro d ‘Italia Tour:

 

  • We expect to see 2 race stages up close, one high mountain stage, and one stage start.Stelvio-Pass-2
  • The cycling routes in our tour will be challenging with multiple HC climbs. This tour is for the experienced cyclist seeking a challenge.
  • Our 12 day tour starts and ends at Venice Marco Polo airport. Drop off in Milan also available.
  • We will be cycling the legendary climbs of the Sella Ronde and Mortirola, as well as the Stelvio, the Gavia and many others.
  • Your guides Adrian and David (from Gradient Blue cycling) will be your drivers on transfers, accompany you on the rides, and provide support and assistance where needed.
  • Our schedule is designed to minimize transfers and driving. Most days you will ride from the front door, providing more time to ride and also more time to relax and enjoy the other aspects of holidaying in the Italian countryside.
  • All breakfasts, some picnic lunches and snack foods are included. Dinners are at your own cost as are lunches at cafes or restaurants.

Interested? Download our full Itinerary

2016 Tour of the Dolomites

 

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Marco pantani Dolomite 2 CCW Italy Tour Cycle Design OF_14 10339462_10201046022671049_6816504414151327716_o 2013-01-16-santini-wool-giro-d-italia-pink-jersey-maglia-rosa-fausto-coppi-tribute

The Croydon Cycleworks Italian connection

Cycling in France or Italy is on the bucket list for most Australian cycling enthusiasts.  Croydon Cycleworks tours have been running for some years to France and now Italy. Here is a little background on my passion for the cycling culture in Italy and why it draws me back.

You may know a little about the Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part cycling team captain, Tom Leaper. Tom is now 39 years old and still racing strongly, but did you know during his professional career he raced the Giro D’Italia in 2000 and 2001 for the Italian team Panaria-Gaerne?

I asked him about his recollection of racing the Italian grand tour…

“   The 2001 Giro (my 2nd) started with a flat and straight prologue in Pescara on the central east coast of Italy.  I was lean and strong and started the prologue fast averaging 60km/hr in the tailwind, just fading in the 2nd half though to finish mid-field. Rolling back to the start house, Mario Cippollini was on the ramp ready to go, dressed in the infamous “muscle” skin suit with no helmet and a fabio hairstyle he looked like something out of a horror movie. Stage 2 took us into the rolling hills before several flat stages for the sprinters. The fans would line the roads to see the local heroes, their favourite was clearly Marco Pantani. Every stage the roars for Pantani and Cippo were deafening. The colour of the Giro and the beauty of the country were amazing. The people made it even more special and the racing was harder than I’d ever experienced. Too hard as it turned out, I ended stage 12 with pneumonia and a trip to hospital. My Mexican team mate Julio Perez later won a stage and my team Panaria-Fiordo now known as Bardiani – CSF has had much success at this race over the years. Although I didn’t finish the race that year, it is something I’ll always remember. The Giro may not be as big as the TDF but it is the most beautiful race in the world. “

Today Tom is the Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part team captain.

Today Tom is the Croydon Cycleworks/Pick-a-Part team captain.

Nowadays Tom is a committed family man, and as leader of our NRS team sets a great example for our younger riders. Tom is still a force on the bike as many local Elite riders will attest to!

While not on the same level as Tom, shop owner Mick Jamison has his own Italian connection. Selected for the 1991 national mountain bike team to race the UCI worlds which that year were held in Italy, Mick was billeted with the rest of the team to a mountain village near Lucca (in Tuscany).

Worlds team Italy 1991

Worlds team Italy 1991

 

Aussie MTB team 1991 Italy

Aussie MTB team 1991 Italy

 

Auusie MTB worlds team Italy 1991 Coreglia Antiminelli

Auusie MTB worlds team Italy 1991 Coreglia Antiminelli

 

“Racing and riding in Italy was an amazing experience. We were treated like kings in the village we stayed in (Coreglia Antiminelli) and the lead up to the worlds was very exciting, with lots of racing and hard training on the most beautiful country roads in the hills of Tuscany. The locals were very friendly and gave us lots of support and encouragement, and even tried to teach us how to play volleyball! One of the team members and my training partner back in Melbourne (Scott Steward) had  raced with the Fanini road team in Italy following being signed up after representing Australia in the road race at the Seoul Olympics, and so had plenty of local knowledge. The actual worlds didn’t go great for the team, handicapped with a starting position a long way from the front row on a course with limited passing opportunities. Even so it was amazing to be part of this event with the huge crowds lining the track making a deafening noise! Scott rode well working his way through the field to finish 20th, and with a decent starting position would easily been in the top 10. My race finished on foot with a broken rear deraileur on the last lap.  Mind you we were up against it, I remember peaking inside the Italian team motorhome the day before our race and seeing an Italian team rider hooked up to a blood bag hanging beside him. It didnt stop American mountain bike legend John Tomac taking the XC gold medal, much to the chagrin of the euro brigade. Tomac was a fantastic rider and a true gentleman. He nearly doubled up by taking a silver medal in the downhill a few days later. In those days it was still common for riders to race in both disciplines.

Racing, riding and living in Italy for this short time was an unforgettable experience. I cant wait to return to Italy to see the Giro in 2015. If you are interested in joining a small tour group to see the Giro and ride the famous climbs of the Dolomites, please register your interest at Croydon Cycleworks. Click here for more information on our tours. 

John Tomac en-route to gold at the XC worlds 1991

John Tomac en-route to gold at the XC worlds 1991

Golden Hammer “Kill the hill” tour hailed success!

Another Tour de France trip finished, and  for the intrepid Croydon Cycleworks “Kill the Hill” golden hammer tour group it was a great success. Over 2 weeks in July we rode some of the toughest and most beautiful roads in France, watched key stages of the TDF, ate at some fantastic restaurants, and had some great laughs. A memorable time was had by all, and there were many highlights such as

  • Climbing numerous “Cols” in fantastic weather
  • Setting up Ray to tell a waitress (in french) she was very beautiful
  • Stealing Daniels shoes (it wasn’t me)
  • Making fun of the dutch
  • Discovering chanel 5 on TV after 10pm
  • Our “Awards” ceremony held on the final night
  • Searching local bakeries for Max
  • Shane, Dale and Ray calling International Bicycle Rescue for a lift

For me, there were so many awesome rides it is hard to single one out, but riding the giant Col du Galibier (at 2645m it is one of the highest sealed roads in France) is special and very rewarding. We had a perfect day and the view is mind boggling.

I’ll be posting some more detailed story on our tour soon. Click here for general info on our tours.

Max makes light work of the Col du Tourmalet

Max makes light work of the Col du Tourmalet

Weirdos on Alpe dhuez

Who are these weirdos again? Oh it’s us!

This lot spent more time posing for photos than riding

This lot spent more time posing for photos than riding

Summit of the Col du Tourmalet

Who is the guy between the statues legs? Shane van Setters of course.

Just to prove that the boss rides too

Someone tell him to have a shave

The 2013 Croydon Cycleworks "Kill the Hill" tour group about to set out on another glorious ride in the French alps.

The 2013 Croydon Cycleworks “Kill the Hill” tour group about to set out on another glorious ride in the French alps.