Thursday, March 16, 2006

these bike racers today are lightweights...

from an article on velonews today talking about the history of La Primavera (Milan-San Remo) here's a description of the 1910 running of the race...

In 1910, for instance, only four of the 63 starters survived a bitterly cold April day. They set off in low temperatures from Milan and headed south on rutted dirt roads toward the major climb over the Apennines at the halfway mark. Snow was in the forecast.

As temperatures plummeted, the snow set in over the 1745-foot Turchino Pass. Its descent was glacial, with the wind blowing snow into drifts 8 inches deep. The survivors, including eventual winner Eugène Christophe of France, had to dismount and push their heavy bikes through the drifting snow. Survival was becoming a matter of life and death.

After collapsing from the arctic conditions, a frigid Christophe was led by a local villager to a roadside inn, where the patron removed the French rider's wet, frozen clothes, wrapped him in a blanket and plied him with hot grog. When feeling returned to his body after a half-hour, Christophe returned to his bike and headed south through the snow.

On reaching the coast road of the Italian Riviera at the foot of the pass, conditions became brighter and Christophe, age 25, soon overtook the handful of riders who had passed him during his stop at the inn. He arrived in San Remo an hour before the runner-up, but he was still suffering from frostbite and spent the next month recovering in a clinic before he could ride his bike again.
now go read the rest of the article over at velonews...

1 comment:

radker said...

thanks for educting the masses, i love reading about the old races, when it was hard b/c it ws hard, not b/c the pace was high. you set the standard for a good blog.