Sunday 5th September
If summer is the season of stage races, you know that it’s coming to an end when the time trials start to appear on the calendar. They always have that lovely village fete attraction about them, as the event lasts long enough for everyone to take little breaks from watching the race to enjoy a boules tournament, shy a coconut or two, enter the prettiest puppy contest, and try a few local cheeses and wines.
Rogno is a small village in the Italian province of Bergamo, just north of Lake Iseo. When local amateur cyclist and keen fan Davide Farnelli was killed in an accident in 2004, his family decided to remember him by putting on an annual timetrial, the Memorial Davide Fardelli, with classes for Juniors, Youths, U23 Men and Elite Women. The Junior events have always been very Italian, participants from earlier years include Eleonora Patuzzo and both Marta and Valentina Bastianelli while Rossella Ratto has won her class for the past two years, but the Women’s race attracted top names from the start. Edita Pucinskaite won the 1st edition, Svetlana Bubnenkova the 2nd, and Karen Thurig all the rest to date. And here’s last year’s top 5, just to show how strong the field was:
1a Karin THÜRIG Bigla Cycling Team Sui 00.32.48,32
2a Amber NEBEN USA Cycling Usa 00.33.10,24
3a Vicki WHITELAW Nazionale Australiana Aus 00.33.15,16
4a Edwige PITEL Equipe de France Fra 00.33.57,53
5a Tatiana GUDERZO G.S. Fiamme Azzurre Ita 00.34.14,79
Karen Thurig’s retired now, but Amber and Vicki will definitely be back, Amber wearing for the first time her new colours as a member of (deep breath) Chirio-Forno d’Asolo-Rougj Tre Colli Idea Quick who have been quietly adding US riders to their roster in recent weeks including promising Utah youngster (do you really say Utahn? It looks a bit Star Trekky to me) Tayler Wiles who was part of their hugely successful trip away to the Tour de Charente-Maritime. Olga Zabelinskaya and Inga Civilnaite of Safi-Pasta Zara-Manhattan are also due to be there, but I’ve not found a start-list to confirm any other names.
The course is a simple 8.3km loop that runs through the centre of Rogno village, turns down to the river, then follows that back to the start.
although "turning down" to the river is more of a figure of speech since the course is pretty flat with only a couple of short sections at 4% and 5%
The Juniors do one lap, the girls starting at 9am and the boys at 9:40, the Youths two, starting at 10:15 and 11:40 respectively, then there is a one lap handbike race from 13:00, before the three lap races for the women at 13:40 and the U23 at 15:30. Now that looks like value for money for any local sponsor, so it’s a surprise we don’t see more of these time trial festivals. And given the nearness of the Worlds, it’s quite easy to attract a good field looking to get in some decent competitive training runs on empty roads.
If you want more information, the organisers have produced a glossy downloadable brochure (zipped pdf) which includes just about every detail you might or might not need to know. Their website is also full of juicy titbits (look at the "Trofei in Mostra" page in the "Dentro l’evento" section to see the really rather nice looking trophies that have been handed out here in past years (their website design won’t let me link directly there). We might get some video from this one too. Local station TeleBoario has a short report on its website including footage from last year, and they are described as the Media Partner for the event. Plus they seem to broadcast live on the web too. It’s worth a peek if you’re around.
Course map and profile via www.memorialfardelli.it