Essential Hydration Tips For Cyclists

Participating in a sportive like a Grand Fondo requires that you have the stamina and the strategy to battle against the distance and the clock. As such, you discipline yourself to go through hours and hours of rigorous training so that when the day comes, you will be ready and be at your best.

You also need to make sure that all the gears that you need for the ride will be ready to push you even to your limits. To conquer every possible difficulty on the road and while on the go, you need to make sure that you are physically and mentally prepared as well. It is best that you fuel your body with adequate water so you can function optimally throughout the race. Bringing with  you one of the best water bottles to keep your favorite beverage as you like it.

Hours on your bike on a very hot day while going around a very challenging track without a focus hydration plan can ruin your pacing strategy. It can also make you feel exhausted quite easily, especially when you find yourself ascending a very stiff trail.

Consider these essential hydration tips to keep you in top shape if you plan to be part of any upcoming cycling event in your locale or anywhere else.

Preparation for the race starts days before the event not hours

You need to start hydrating even days before the actual day of the event begins. It’s not even a smart idea to chug down several liters of water a few hours before the gun is fired. Many serious athletes have faced death as they have suffered from a very dangerous condition as a result of this. Hyponatremia is a condition that results in the sodium level going to a critical low because of overhydration.

This causes a person to have a headache, be dizzy, vomit, be confused, and show other critical symptoms like muscle cramps, and seizures. A more serious level of this condition hae already claimed several lives.

Start the day right by drinking about 300 to 500 ml. of wake up

You can make your drink even more motivating by squeezing in lemon juice into it. This can perk you up and can replace any fluid that you have lost while you were sleeping. This will also give you extra protection from virus-causing diseases on the road.

Drink at regular intervals to keep hydrated

Don’t just drink to thirst. Your senses might give you a faulty signal and you may think that you are only thirsty when actually you may already be dehydrated.

Thus, you may say that being thirsty may not be the most reliable indicator of your state of dehydration. Experts indicate that thirst is often not activated until one has lost 0.8 – 2% of body weight.

To be at your optimum performance, it is crucial that you start hydration even before you ride your bike and should continue hydrating at regular intervals throughout the ride. Note that if you fail to replace any lost fluids right away, not only your output performance will suffer. Your overall health may also be affected.

While you sweat a lot, the water retained in your system is lessened. This makes the plasma to thicken and force the heart to work harder. In the process, your body temperature increases. The cycle continues until you finally re-fill your tank.

To ensure that you can continually rehydrate, store your favorite beverage in one of the best water bottles for cycling. You can keep them hot or cold, or any way you want your liquid replacement to be.

Keep one or two bottles of sports drink handy

When you do intense sportives, you lose not only water in your body. You also use up a lot of energy. Keeping a bottle or two of a great-tasting water drink will not only quench your thirst, it will also provide you with essential electrolytes to push your energy level up once again.

Drink to rehydrate, eat to fuel up your body

Although your alternative fluid replacement can provide you more than just water, you still need other energy-giving calorie food sources to rely on. Snack on bars, gels, pieces of fruit that you may have in your belt bag or at any of the well-stocked aid-booth on the way.

If at any point of the race or the event that you feel dizzy, feel heavy, or starts to have a headache, pause for a while and look for someone who can provide you with first aid. Never put your health at risk. Dehydration is a serious condition that can lead to death.

Be ready, bring your best beverage, and hydrate even while on the go to stay at your best throughout the event.

Driving like the Skoda advert!!

Last Sunday I was with my daughter Saskia for the Womens team series race in Yorkshire. Having set off from Derby at 6am we arrived at about 7.45 and promptly drove in the wrong entrance to find no-one about in the start area. After a while we found our away and found signs of life at a sports centre. The setting for the race HQ was the beautiful Ampleforth Abbey College and grounds near Helmsley.
Saskia didn’t fancy a trip round the course and duly signed on and set going on her roller warm up session. After that we were greeted by an Italian gentleman who asked if we wanted him to take our spare wheels in his service car. We welcomed his generosity and he also asked if I wanted a trip with him in the car. I jumped at the chance to follow Saskia and the race more closely. He asked if I was carsick as he was a little crazy which was a clue to what was to follow. Nevertheless I jumped in behind Flavio. I started to have visions of the Skoda team car TV advert and sterotypes of Italian drivers crossed my mind.
The car was equipped with radio supplied to listen to race progress. In the front were supplies of food and drink and in the back were coats and a pillow presumably for sleeping in the car. In contrast in the boot of the estate car were only the wheels of Saskia, another girl Sophie and Victoria Bussi (Zappi’s Ladies Team). He explained how to shut the boot gently and that we didn’t have to wear safety belts so that we could get out quicker!

Soon we were in the queue of team cars in car no.4; Flavio had been late to the briefing but was not bothered. Soon we were off in the neutralised part of the race and the weather was brightening after the heavy downpours of the night before. Within seconds one of the Matrix girls was on the floor and Flavio and the other cars all overtook her team car that dropped back. She was soon to get back in the field aided by her team-mates. The Scott Contessa team car driver started waving frantically in front and then shouted to let the Matrix car past. Flavio wasn’t too impressed and ignored the request. That was until we got told by the commissaire on the radio to let Matrix back into position!

The flag was dropped and I got chatting to Flavio who was cooly driving with one hand on the wheel. I explained that we were now in God’s county (I was born in Hull) and he said how friendly and down to earth the people were in this area. I explained how Saskia hated hills so was going to be up against it with 3 climbs on each lap. Victoria had only been riding since last year and Flavio wanted to help her with her bunch riding and technical skills.
We soon hit the base of the first climb up a steep hillside and there were some stragglers appearing. Near the top Saskia popped out the back and we both shouted encouragement out to her as we had to pass to keep in the convoy. A group of 3 was only 50m ahead and we could see Saskia and another girl trying in vain to bridge the gap. We caught another group of girls could not get past. Others caught the cars and Flavio hit the horn hard to get the rest of the convoy to move to move to one side to let them past.
At the bottom of a descent Flavio was impressed with a rider’s skills as she came shooting through a narrow gap between the cars and verge.
A few miles later there was another massive climb which Flavio said his Garmin had told him was 1 in 5 in parts. After these two climbs the news came through on the race radio that a group including Victoria had escaped in front of the bunch in a group of 11. At 58 seconds gap Flavio was getting excited but frustrated by the fact that the commissaires would not let team cars into the gap. Eventually they said they would let cars through but asked the team Zappi car to stop back as neutral service. Flavios passion was starting to emerge and he said “Why me!?” A bit further on he decided to take action and waved car no.5 up beside him. After some discussion whilst driving alongside, car no.5 agreed to stop back leaving Flavio free to go forward. He soon agreed this with the commissaires and the mood improved. But next he questioned why some cars had not moved through and the retort was that they had not been precisely called through yet. But at last we were allowed by and the foot was flat down to get past the bunch before the road started to bend.
At the end of the lap the road wound its way up through the picturesque abbey grounds where spectators had gathered. Flavio saw a member of his club who was explained was his northernmost member and was in his kit. He slowed down (a little) to pass him a new Zappis jersey and on we went. Flavio passed me a breakfast bar and tried to make a phone call to “Steve” to put something on his website/facebook. On the downhill again we sped after the leaders but in front of the gruppetto. A car came in the opposite direction and an annoyed Flavio honked the horn and manoeuvred across in an apparent attempt to get the car to stop or move over or go into the verge or something. Two more cars followed and he repeated the actions with more intention. It was obvious that he thought the road was closed but I said I thought it was a rolling road closure. They must have got on the circuit via an un-marshalled side road. Any way it didn’t stop him pulling over at the next marshall to complain.
Back up the road the group was still away and on the steep hill we slowed to give a girl some jovial encouragement- she responded in kind with some good natured expletives! Back behind the bunch the matrix team were all off the back on the same climb and Flavio correctly identified that they had dropped back to help a rider. Sure enough they were soon behind us and catching the bunch up. In the same place again we met another oncoming car and Flavio showed off his Italian driving style again! We stopped again to complain to the same marshall that someone was going to get killed but he said it was an open road circuit and he could do nothing. Up front again with the leaders and Flavio explained that Victoria was wasting energy by riding in the wind beside the others who were in line.
On the last lap she was one of 3 riders who dropped off from the leaders on a hill and Flavio was up beside giving some encouragement in Italian and beeping his horn. However a quick instruction by the commissaire for him to leave them behind soon put a stop to that. But Victoria pushed and lead the group back to near the leaders with much horn beeping in encouragement and cries of “ Forza Forza Forza” from Flavio. But we were close to the finish now and we could see the leaders ahead as we followed the Victoria group. We were told to pull over with a kilo to go and missed a crash as a rider slipped off on a corner.
We jumped out near the finish to find our girls. Victoria finished a great 10th and Saskia had been pulled out with a lap to go. And so ended an educational and exciting 2hrs with Flavio.
So mad or just passionate? Definitely the passionate.
Someone told me afterwards about Flavios past and said “All sprinters are mad aren’t they?” But Flavio really cares for his cycling and for anyone who cares about cycling. That’s what he is about.
Same time next year Flavio? Thanks again.

…and this is why I have been away for so long…

One week with Zappi’s Pro Cycling at their pre season training base.

I have just returned from spending a week living with the Zappi’s Pro Cycling team at their pre season training base in Tavira, near Faro in Portugal.

They have been there since January and will be based there until mid April when they will move to Italy for a few weeks before returning to the UK in June for the National Road Race and Premier Calendar series. I will give some additional information about races at the end of this piece.

I had little idea what to expect however I left with a feeling that something special is happening there.

When Flavio Zappi was starting out on his pro career he joined a team called Lema Mobili run by Domenico Garbelli in 1978. It was very disciplined and the whole team lived together with the boss. Out of 12 riders in the team 10 went on to sign professional contracts within 3 years. Flavio was one of these and he went on to wear the green jersey in the Giro d’Italia.  This is the model Flavio is now using for his team of riders who are aged between 18 to 25.

Whilst a guest I was expected to follow, (where physically possible!) the daily routine of the team. This starts at 7am with reveille, signaled by the tune whistled by Elle Driver in the movie “Kill Bill”  (originally the theme to “Twisted Nerve” written by Bernard Herrmann 1968) which is played on Flavio’s iphone as he walks around the accommodation.

07:15 sees the start of 30 minutes of Core Strength training lead by Jack Adams or maybe some Ashtanga Yoga lead by Jacob Loftus. Whilst this is going on Flavio and his wife Jayne will be preparing breakfast. (please see photo link further down for images)

There was unusually bad weather with rain and high winds during my week so training rides were timed to fit with any improved weather windows however usually after breakfast has been cleared away and washed up the plan for the day is discussed and the team prepare for the training ride. If all are fit this will normally be a 3 to 5 hour session. If anyone is recovering from an injury or illness then the ride will split in two with the latter maybe doing an easy 2- 3 hours.

It is beautiful riding in this part of Portugal. You can head north inland on quiet roads and almost immediately can be on a nice long undulating, twisting climb for 20 kms rising about 650 metres to a beautiful high plain. There is no shortage of good routes and often they accompany the local Pro Continental Team, Tavira-Carmin on their training rides. Flavio does the training rides with them, which he finds invaluable in terms of analyzing their progress.

On return to base the riders will cool their legs by standing in the unheated swimming pool for 20 minutes before showering and having food.  Then the bikes are completely checked over and cleaned ready for the next day. Laundry is also dealt with immediately.

Depending on how hard the ride has been there may be a walk on the beach or a yoga session in the afternoon. The last meal of the day will be eaten at 7pm and most are in bed before 10 pm.

The team consists of 8 riders who share 3 bedrooms. Cooking is done by Flavio and the chores of daily communal living are split up amongst the guys by rota. These consist of washing up, outside areas, inside areas and being Flavio’s assistant in the kitchen for food preparation and making food packs of brioche and figs for each of the riders to take on the training ride.

Food is an integral part of daily life and the training. Breakfast consists of homemade muesli, boiled eggs (yoke removed), bread, Jam, yogurt, fruit, juice and tea and coffee. Each member of the team is expected to eat exactly the same and nothing is allowed to be left. This seems fine for breakfast but more of a challenge for a couple of the team for other meals which consist mainly of local fresh fish, and occasionally chicken livers or roast chicken. One of the guys had never eaten fish before leaving for Portugal so this has been a big change of diet for him and the chicken livers well…. anyway nothing is allowed to be left on the plate! The fact is that they are usually starving anyway. Accompanying the main item there is always salad and often sweet potatoes, broccoli (raw), new potatoes and lots of beetroot. I have to say I found the food delicious although the treat Flavio announced that everyone deserved one night of sweet potato and cream lightly dusted with chocolate powder was more unusual.

The routine and discipline is the closest I have come to experiencing life when doing some basic training in the army in the early 80’s. It has some of the same sense of routine, purpose, “get on with it” approach whilst getting to know your team mates and but also the feeling that someone is really looking after everybody and everything – there is someone in charge and you are living together, as opposed to turning up at a club to do some training before going home to your family. It felt fundamental to the building of the team’s character. Flavio jokes that he has got 8 “children” to take care of out there but to a degree it is true. One of the guys was ill earlier in the year and it is Flavio who takes him off to get his blood tested and then goes back for the results, he is the one to massage a calf recovering from tendonitis. He is the one who makes sure noone is being “so lazy”, who gives a serious dressing down to all if standards are slipping. It felt good to see and be part of. I suspect there are not many young riders at this level who will have had the opportunity to live with their team mates and DS for pre season warm weather training and then the forthcoming race season. I suspect that this is most important to maintaining focus and discipline whilst at the same time being enjoyable.  One thing I am sure of is that the guys are experiencing something totally new to them.

Please see photographs at

At the time of writing (14 March 2013) the racing is about to get more serious. Here is a flavour of it.

17th March Portuguese National called Classica Labmed [ 18 March Nikita came 3rd overall and Dan crashed when going well and broke collarbone]

20th March 5 day stage race is UCI 2.2 international Volta Ao Alentejo

The team are waiting for confirmation for the Giro del Friuli another UCI 2.2 international in Italy in early May but single day internationals (UCI 1.2) Circuito del Porto and Coppa Della Place are confirmed start of May and start of June. In preparation for the teams return to the UK for the National RR and Premier Calendar Series they have also confirmed entry into the French UCI 2.2 International stage race Tour de la Pays de Savoy.

Then it will be the UK scene with a rest the end of July before building into the second half of the season, races yet to be confirmed.

There are many more national level races in Spain, Italy, Swizterland and Belgium planned/confirmed which are good training races and stepping stones for development between the harder internationals. All the team riders have varied levels and therefore different individual goals but we always race to compete as a Team and as such riders will work to do a job when not capable of individual success.


Jack Adams

Danny Kelley

Jacob Loftus

Dimitri Paganoni

Sam Parker

Dan Pearson

James Ratcliffe

Nikita Zharoven

Flavio Zappi – DS

Buon Natale e Felice Anno Nuovo !!! with Graham Obree….


This year we had to go to a new venue, as Mamma Mia my favourite place is not big enough to accomodate our xmas party,

hopefully next yean Jon (the owner of Mamma Mia) will have a bigger restaurant for us….

We had the most amazing evening, my all family was finally over there (after 2 years), my sponsors, my friends, my teams, a great guest speaker (Graham Obree) and most of all the club members…the Zappistas!!!

Racing team 2013

Is this time of the year when lots of pieces are all over the tabel, like a puzzle but I’m getting there…

Sponsorship deals to finalize, car /van to get decal sorted, kit, Xmas party and bikes…

Car and van is this year  a bit more pro level…

…as finally I can afford to buy them rather than borrow them from my very nice and therefore grateful friends like Steve Avery and Duncan Mellish.. 🙂

This year racing team kit will have a different colour scheme…RED is the theme, for passion, power, love and …

Ferrari speed!!

So black follow red and white on the top for those summer sunny day where I want to keep the fresh to be able to attack on those hills…

Yes is a team of climbers with some of them on mix abilities…I want to get them were it matter…on the climb!

My plan is to get those light weight boys and give them the power they need but keeping the ideal weight …6 guys average weight 62.5kg…lets get the wattage now!

But the bike is what I’m so exiting about…the frame was tested by my self during this season…my “Volante” as said in Italian can fly and is also a power machine!

The main difference from “Freccia” is the rear end and a bit more aerodynamic…but the rear is where is not going to give anything back…only forward!

Stiff like a rock, ideal for ultimate performance…not good for the over 50 unless you have a very good core and back…my personal choice is still la Freccia as I like to have  a little more relax in the rear for my 6/7 hours sportives…never the less managed to win a crit and very good at short races.

But I wanted to be different and I spend time with a company that deals with F1 high quality decals, …yes decals!

Back in the 70s was normal and I want to take them back for 3 reasons:

1 The frame is paint less therefore lighter

2 If you scratch it you can replace and your frame will look great again

3 You can customize it

The frame comes as an aggressive black matt finish, but the you can choose the scheme you like…

You can start with black and red …our racing team colour and change during the season for some sunflower yellow and ride the in the summer  like the tour the france leader…

Anyway the team one is compatible with Zappi’s club colors …

And now time to build it…so as you can see if you match it with bar take, bottle cages, tyres and saddle the job is done…

Contador and Doping

Is incredible how interesting are some comments you find at the bottom of an article…

Cyclist Alberto Contador of Spain, is seen during the inauguration ceremony of the Criterium cycling race in Oviedo, Spain Saturday Oct. 30, 2010. Contador who is attending the race as a spectator, is provisionally suspended by the UCI after testing positive for the banned drug clenbuterol and could lose his Tour de France title. (AP Photo/Paco Paredes).

I was reading recently the Contador saga on an Italian sport paper online and I was astonished to see how many people have incredible knowledge in doping matter, here a few samples…

“proprio una molecola che aumenta l’apporto di sangue ai muscoli, che aumenta la frequnza cardiaca e respiratori, che aumenta la produzione di glucosio e aumenta la demolizione di grassi per la produzione di energia doveva finire nel suo piatto il giorno prima della tappa decisiva del tour, davvero una coincidenza incredibile!”

said..” don’t you think is incredible that a small molecule responsible of improving blood supply to the muscle, responsible to raise heart frequency, to improve glucose production and breaking down fats and release energy would finish on Contador’s steak the day before on the most important stage of the Tour the France?”

and few more….(you use google translate, just to have an idea)

” Questa è la seconda volta che Contador viene coinvolto in inchieste riguardanti la medicina sportiva. La presto dimenticata “Operacion Porto”, un indagine (dalle ombre mai dissolte) in cui erano coinvolti atleti di “troppe” discipline quali: tennisti, calciatori, automobilisti ecc., alla voce ciclismo annotava ben 58 corridori sospetti di illecito tra cui il campione spagnolo”

“Su internet si dice che questo clenbuterolo ha un’emivita di 25-39 ore, ciò significa che occorre quel tempo affinché il corpo metabolizzi ed elimini metà della dose assunta; che effetti dopanti nelle urine si rintracciano dopo 2 – 4 giorni dalla somministrazione; che da uno studio su cavalli che ingerivano il clenbuterolo e si allenavano anche, è stato rilevato che la massa muscolare non aumentava fino alla sesta settimana…. Guarda che sfortuna, Contador, che ti hanno beccato proprio con questo farmaco… Forse è per questo che i test antidoping hanno fatto rizzare i capelli a chi di dovere per una così modica quantità ritrovata? Sempre più scettico sono… ”

“E’ risaputo che dopo dosi dopanti ci sono i cosidetti lavaggi, ricordiamoci Di Luca dopo la tappa dello Zoncolan al controllo antidoping risultò più pulito di un neonato. Peccato, ma io ho sempre avuto un dubbio, in 50 anni che seguo il ciclismo, di ogni categoria, non ho mai visto un corridore così leggero andare così forte a cronometro…”

And now on Riis team…what a timing?!?!?

Flavio Zappi vs Eddy Merckx???

This is the story of a very imbarrasing period of my cycling carrier.

During the first few stages at the Giro d’Italia 1981 (my first giro), the italian major sport newspaper called “La Gazzetta Dello Sport” dedicated a all page in the cycling section on …Flavio Zappi the new Eddy Merckx.

I was new pro that year and fresh winner of one stage at the Giro del Trentino were I also wear the leader jersey until last stage lost on time trial.

Also won at the same giro the team time trial stage…
Anyway one morning got up from bed in the hotel were we staying and get in the restaurant for breakfast before the stage were somebody showed me with my mix of pleasure and horror a all page of interviews from me and my director sportif at the time Dino Zangegu’ .

Former winner of the Tour of Flandres and great caracter Dino, was very famous on tv and with the italian pubblic for his great sprints and later after his carrier finished for his funny comments on tv.

Anyway, it looks like he was interviewed from a journalist at la gazzetta and during the interview he compared me with the great Eddy by saying phrases like ” when I see him riding he just remind me soo much of Eddy” and stuff like that.
Of course the result was the next few days at the giro a constant taking the xxxx by calling me Eddyyyy, hey Eddyyy, come here Eddy…
In particolar one person was really annoying…he was a prestigious domestique of team Bianchi and his name was Serge Parsani…

But I have forgive him after I saw him recently on a bday party riunion last year, and had a chance to know him better, he is a realy nice guy and at the time maybe just a little bit big headed…bless him!

This is now and is new position as a director sportiv with team Katiusha…

Flying bikes (and the roofrack)

It was november few years ago…actually it was 1983, just finish my first season at Metauro Mobili/Pinarello, and toghether with two good friends of mine decide to go near Venice to race on a cyclocross.

We had a really messi day,not only because we or I (not sure…) left the car keys inside the car and look the door, but most of all for a freak accident on the motorway Venice/Milan on the way back that night…

Vittorio Algeri

Antonio Bevilacqua

The cyclocross was a reason for us to make some cash off season, back in those day the contract was only for 10 months, so any opportunity to make some money and ride was very appreciated, anyway back to the story, we drove to the the event, we realized after the race we could not get our changing gears from the car, then we had a nightmare getting the money promised to us from the organizer (btw was 50.000 lira, aprox £18 on which we had to share the cost of petrol and motorway toll), and to finish a freak accident on the motorway….

Basically at one point during the journey we heard a big bang noise from the roof, we looked back and we saw our three bikes flying over the motorway still attached to the roofrack and landed in the middle of the central lane with car swirling around.

We reverse on the emergency lane and very quick recovery our bikes, still intact!!! after landing at 120km/hour!!!!, we dindt recover the rack…

This are my two frieds now, both Milram’s directour sportives…are’nt they soo seriuos now!

…hmmm btw Antonio was in charge on fixing the roofrack!

Il bandito e il campione (The bandit and the champion)

This is the title of a song, a very well know song in Italy. Sang by songwriter Francesco De Gregori he imbrace in this story the love for cycling in 1920s and the love for the hero/bandit who live is life as kind of Italian style Robin Hood.

Tear-jerking clips in theme with the tradition of Italian fiction, an interpreter of great effect as Beppe Fiorello, a story carried the memories of the old protagonist with the always excellent technique of flashback. “The legend of the bandit and the champion”, aired Monday and Tuesday on Raiuno directed by Lodovico Gasparini, from the novel by Marco Ventura, is undoubtedly a good product for television where all the leitmotif of the friendship between two boys and then divided by life holds until the end. On the one hand constant Girardengo (Simone Gandolfo) to become the first “Campionissimo” of Italian cycling, on the other Pollastri Sante (the aforementioned Beppe Fiorello) that promise of cycling instead becomes one of the most famous band of the ’20s, with a band capable of bold strokes between Italy and France, wanted by police in both countries. The drama is enriched by the love story of Sante and the Beautiful Apple (Raffaella Rea), loved in his youth also constant, a factor that threatens to undermine the friendship between the bandit and the sample. Some historical event actually happened but then a lot of imagination.

Beppe Fiorello and Simone Gandolfo in the fiction of Raiuno
The rest of this story, taken a few years ago by Francesco De Gregori in his beautiful ballad “The Bandit and the sample is always surrounded by myth and reality. On the true story of Sante Pollastri few examples remain today, the record fascist era intended to explain to citizens the perfect face of an Italy gives little space to the criminal deeds of the bandit in his parable of the bicycle and over the years has collected many fragments, some authentic and others probably legendary, as the title says just fiction.

That the two childhood friends who at some point take different paths is almost certainly a fantasy, a poetic touch to the real story. Both were born in Novi Ligure, in 1893 and Sante Girardengo six years later, it is still a teenager in 1913 when the first part in her first Tour of Italy. In any case, if not best friends but at least acquaintances, and neighbors with a mutual friend, the trainer Biagio Cavanna, one of the most fascinating in the history of Italian cycling, the blind masseur which is enough to recognize a palpated muscles and tendons champion. At his skilled hands after Girardengo will in fact be given the greatest of all time, Fausto Coppi.

Constant Girardengo
The incident that perhaps helped create the legend has really happened in Paris in 1926, the city where he had fled from Sante Pollastri time. In the midst of a spell in Italy, when during a firefight near the French border the death of one of the lieutenants of the bandit Novi was mistaken for death of the same Pollastri. The recovered body was disfigured beyond recognition and therefore, the Italian newspapers gave the news of the death of Sante Poultry episode reported inter alia in the fiction of Raiuno.

Pollastro was instead returned to the French capital where among other things on that day was also Girardengo for the dispute of “six days” on the road.

Amid all the races, Biagio Cavanna sitting on the track of Sante recognized the whistle, a whistle was particularly known as Novi Ligure “cifulò. Novi only one to be recognized by a fellow countryman in a foreign land would have run to perfection and Cavanna did not take long to figure out who was the Novi area of Paris. The master of cycling and his former student then met again in France and shortly after the same Girardengo Cavanna and met the bandit. Sante made an appointment to the two neighbors in Novi, but never arrived there. It was in fact arrested again in Paris in 1927 by men of the Commissioner Guillaume, betrayed by an informer tipped off the police. Following constant Girardengo was called to testify at the trial of Pollastri where there was talk of that famous encounter took place during the “Six Days.”

Sante Pollastri
He was sentenced to life imprisonment but was pardoned in 1959 by then President Giovanni Gronchi. He spent the last twenty years of his life in Novi Ligure, where he was the business of street vendor, where he died in 1979, a year after the disappearance of Girardengo.

“It was old suffered an injustice or poverty, to make the boy a fierce bandit, De Gregori sings in its composition. Sante Pollastri has taken on because his criminal career have been floated several versions. Among these, to justify the hatred of the young bandit against police there is the killing of a relative on their part or that of a brother taken to present the call to arms, although seriously ill and died at the barracks. Another story, taken from the key rather than imaginative fiction and romance with other side dishes, about Sante’s sister, Carmelina, who was raped by a military weapon. Sante, then 19 years old, killed the policeman and then you would be given to the bush. In the television miniseries was Carmela’s future instead of the bandit lover, usurer raped the country and then ran away and found to be constant in a luxury brothel in Turin. None of this hypothesis is still supported by documentation and are mostly born of legends around the figure of Sante Pollastri the war. Famous in France in fact, was almost unknown in Italy, except in the north where his criminal exploits were prominently. The complaint that severely limit the fascist crime. In fact Sante Pollastri embodied the figure of the rebel authority in a time when it was formalizing an authoritarian turn and the move from democracy to fascism. In this sense became a heroic figure for the world and the nascent anarchist anti-fascist movements.

Racing on the beach?!?! Well…

It was 1972 when for the first time I’ve got in touch with cycling wa s with Felice Gimondi…

little a knew at the time I would live in one of his houses when I raced in 1983/4 for Metauro mobili/Pinarello as pro rider…anyway back to 1972, usual seaside resort were my family used to spend summer holiday, Cervia no far from Cesenatico (Pantani’s home land)…

like all kid my age play on the beach and building….the PISTA (racecourse)…

well this photo as adult playing?!??! but the “Pista” was something realy special and we use to spend hours making the most attractive and fast with perfect “parabole” (high corners) were the ball would stay in the course and get as far possible.
So the rules are very simple 4/5 kids as a plastic ball with a figurine inside and you got to complete the “pista” and win! you can only flick once a time in turn and if you flick to fast and goes out of the couse the next flick start from the previuos position.
The palline were personal and at the time “ciclisti” were the most appropriate and I had …GIMONDI!
Here some example…

anyway if want to play in Bognor Regis here some trick ideas…but dont forget two major things are required:
1) Sunshine
2) Golden sand
…happy play!