It’s time to stash the beers and gather the 300 people, and off we go — 105 kilometers, of which at least 65 are on gravel, among the fields around Novara.
The Canale Villoresi features prominently. This 86-kilometer-long artificial canal that connects the Ticino river to the Adda river was built at the end of the 19th century by Eugenio Villoresi. Thanks, Eugenio! You don’t know it, but you designed a perfect route for a gravel race. And no, it doesn’t matter that in your day you didn’t even know what gravel riding was.
Abbiamo tutti il diritto a una certa ora di sentirci bene un’altra persona
We all have the right at a certain time to feel good, another person
It soon becomes clear that Team Cinelli Smith has fixies in its DNA. Because in cycling, as in life, it’s the attitude and the approach that makes the difference, not the number of sprockets you have on your rear wheel.
And the team’s approach to Novarenberg is more or less this: smiles, photos, hugs and kisses until the start, then all out for 100 kilometers, pouring out loads of watts on their opponents at every acceleration and on every gravel section, and then smiles, photos, hugs and kisses after the finish.