If there’s one question you might expect to be pondering while tackling one of the toughest one-day cycling events, it is certainly not: what is the meaning of love?
Struggling up the penultimate big climb, the Passo Giau – 10km averaging almost 10% gradient to 2,236m, and having already tackled five peaks before it, my thoughts were far more in dark, self-loathing, deep-curse territory. And yet the Maratona dles Dolomites, now a 31-year-old televised Italian institution, based in Corvara, has an annual theme, and this year it was heavily bannered as “Amur” – the word for love in the local Ladin dialect. But why?
Before the event came the most eccentric press conference I’ve ever attended. Containing nothing about the course – or indeed any practical content – it was introduced by a man dressed as a monk who blessed the audience, then climbed out of his tunic to reveal full cycling kit. Red roses were given to…
Straight from The Guardian
(image courtesy of http://www.rosestallard.com/)