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2018, alta badia, ashley, badia, castelli, cycling, dles, dolomites, grand fondo, gruber, jered, jersey, ladin valley, maratona, unveil, Video -

– FIND THE INSPIRATIONAL VIDEO’S BELOW – The 2018 edition of the Maratona dles Dolomites – Enel will kick off on July 1 in the Badia valley of Italy’s far north. More than 9,000 riders will climb out of the darkness, just before dawn breaks over the surrounding limestone peaks of the Dolomites. The race is a must for every serious cyclist. The landscape of the Dolomites is so important and so inspiring that it’s protected by UNESCO, and every year the Maratona has an environment-related theme. The race’s patron, Michil Costa, is what the Italians call a “personaggio,” a character. His goal is to get people to connect with nature, to contemplate their place in it, and to appreciate not only its fragile beauty but also what that beauty can do for our own fragilities. Riding here might be tough on the legs, but it does wonders for a stressed-out mind. Because Castelli’s head office is near the Badia valley, Castelli staff live, ride, run or ski in these mountains all year. Finding the right elements and inspiration for the Maratona jersey was the motivational state that brought the 2018 kit design from idea to reality.  “Getting the call ...

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belgium, cycling, flandern, gruber, jered, kermis, race, Racing -

Bike racers are all tough, but the suffering that is guaranteed by a wet, cold, and nasty conditions will separate the driven souls. Dressed fully aero and protected from the elements wearing the aerodynamic Gabba Jersey, Body Paint Bibshorts, Nano Flex warmers, Diluvio gloves and shoe-covers, Jered Gruber is finally getting his chance to race in Belgium. This weekend, he headed south into Wallonia for a race in the never-ending hills of the Ardennes. I’m climbing the Cote de la Vecquee in the Ardennes. It’s a typical part of the 260 kilometer Monument, Liege-Bastogne-Liege. It’s not a major, prominent climb that forms any real selection in La Doyenne, but in today’s race, it’s doing a good job of sorting the good fruit from the bad. The once frantic group that fought so hard for position in the three uphill kilometers (plus the 50k before that) leading to Stoumont and the hard left hand turn, which signifies the start of the climb, is suddenly quiet. The profanities yelled in French, Flemish, German, and English are no more. There’s just breathing. It’s 3C°, it’s raining, I can barely see 10 riders in front of me in the fog, but it doesn’t matter, ...

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