Jennie Stenerhag

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Nove Colli and a holiday in Italy




I had nine really good days in Italy! The sun was shining and the temperature was between 30 and 40 degrees, perfect for a sunshine cyclist as me!! We stayed in Cesenatico, a lovely little coastal town and Marco Pantanis home town. You can really see that, there is the Pantani Museum, the Pantani bar, his mum’s restaurant, his house and later this year they will host the race – Pantanissimo!


Our hotel was just next to the sea with its own private beach and pool. We have been cycling almost every day, done some shopping, been lazy in the sun and done some sight seeing. As always in Italy the food has been good, maybe a bit too much sometimes but hard not to eat when it is soo good! We went to "Trattoria del Lago" in Mercato Saraceno one night and had the best food I have ever tasted, so if you are in the neighbourhood I can recommend that you find it and have one of Mama and Paolo’s meals!





The Nove Colli race was fun and a bit different. The official opening was two days before and I got to hold the rope before they cut it to open the race There were two distances to choose between, 130km and four hills or 200km and nine hills, I thought it was enough with 130km! About 11000 people started at the same time so it was a bit chaotic from the beginning, luckily we were specially invited and got to be right at the front. It was fast from the beginning and it was hard to see were the other girls were. The mountains were really hard, the last one had a one kilometre stretch with a gradient of 18%, I could really feel that in my legs, and then the down hills were as steep!! When I came to the finish I didn’t have a clue where I came but soon got to know that I was third on the short route. During the race I met another Swede and after he told me that it was a group of 58 Swedes that did the race.


One day we were off to watch the Giro, it was nice to see it live, specially everything that goes on around the race, it is not like a ladies stage race we cycled the last 45km of the stage that finished in Bologna San Luca, the finish was on top of a two kilometre long hill with max gradient 21%, probably the steepest thing I have ever cycled and many in our "tourist group" could not cycle up there. It was incredible to see how steep it was comparing to how steep it looks like on TV, I can understand why Chris Froome went zig zag all over the road to get up there when he was completely finished.


Next year I have to try and win the Argus again so that I can go on this trip again, I really had a great time and nice to have some vacation, it was long since last time! I want to give a big thank you to Andrea and Simone at Italian jobs tours and Adri and David at the cycle tour for this amazing price I got!! And also a big thank you to the whole group for being such nice people that made this trip so much fun!!



Me and David at the opening of the Nove Colli


Melissa, that won last year and went to South Africa for the Argus, and me at the start of Nove Colli.


The start of Nove Colli 2009


Price giving after the 130km race. Got third.


I San Marino


Dawn and Gary on one of all the nice restaurants


My new bike:-)


When in Italy you have to eat lots of pizza! (of course:-)



Our guides Andrea and Simone outside "Trattoria del Lago"


Roy is flying high!!







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