Verdicchio Euro Championships
In Central Italy is the Marche region, famous for growing the white wine grape, Verdicchio. Jesi, not far from the Adriatic Sea is most famous for the Verdicchio grape. Just a few minutes up the road is the small town of Castelplanio.
The course is long, about 3 km. The course starts at the very top of the hill, and almost immeditately dives into two hairpins. The road passes some houses before a hard left turn. A short while afterwards is a tight righthand hairpin. A long straight builds speed to a right turn that empties into another hard lefthand hairpin. The road meanders from here down to a hard left hand turn. A short straight to another left hand turn. The following, double apex right turn was called the Spectators corner.
Thursday, August 11
We pulled into Castelplanio in the middle of the afternoon. It gave us a chance to check out the town a little bit and get settled into our hotels. The campground was in the sports fields in the town at the bottom. But it was fairly empty, I guess many people will show up later in the evening. In the evening there was a dinner and registration, not far from the campground.
Friday, August 12
Things were off to a slow start, but at least the weather looked good. Hot, but good. Marcus was doing tech,to take us back to the top. We were managing about a run every half hour. It wasn't long before it was time for lunch.
I guess a lot of people went to the pizza place near the start line. We decided to hit the restaurant at our hotel. Ice is difficult to get in Europe. Although the warmer countries tend to get it. But I'd been travelling with Dave Kessler all summer, and almost everywhere we went, we asked for ice. This was the first time that we really got ice.
We were supposed to start qualifying right after lunch. We got our warmup run in, and then got ready to start qualifying with street luge. We watied,
We grabbed dinner at the pizza place at the top. After dinner we stopped at the rider's dinner, for the rider's meeting.
Saturday, August 13
The plan for today was to do both qualifying runs. We started qualifying with classic.We were given a card, and were allowed two Red Bulls a day.
I tend to race conservatively, and qualifying even more conservatively. I don't wreck too often, as I tend to brake a little too much. On my classic run I tried to take one of the fast right turns without braking, and I ended up hitting the hay. I hit the hay at the end of the turn. On my luge I would have stayed on my board, but on my classic it was enough to push me off the board! The one race we will only get one qualifying run, happens to be the only race I wreck!
We had a lunch break in the middle of standup qualifying. In the grand Italian tradition, it was a two hour lunch and siesta. We headed into town for lunch, which apparently was a good thing. I guess a lot of people hit the nearby pizza place, and they were swamped.
Immediately after lunch we dive right back into qualifying. Or at least we tried to start. There was additional communication issues that had to be sorted out. Fortunately they were solved a bit quicker this time, and we got underway. We had to wait
We hit the riders dinner for dinner.It is always nice to know where you placed.
A few of the skaters tried to put on a show.
Sunday, August 14
For the first time this summer in Europe, the skies were clear with no hint of rain on the race.
After the junior's we broke for lunch. We raced over to the pizza place, and found no one else was there. Although it looks like they had extra staff, and we were informed that we could order pizzas today. I guess yesterday only the sandwiches were available for lunch. It was a good thing we got there early, as quite a few other people came by as well. I took my time, as standup would start after lunch.
I wanted to go down to spectator corner to watch, but street luge was supposed to start after the first round of standup. So I watched from the first couple of turns.
After each round, I wandered back up to the start to wait and hear if Labarthe advanced or not. Once I caught some suspicious activity.
It was finally time to get street luge underway.
In the finals Serek gets the hole shot, by a significant amount.
There was a discussion of trying to go to one of the nicer restaurants in town. But by the time the race was over, it was just easier to head over for the athelete dinner. After dinner, it was time to give the awards away.
Junior II Standup:
Junior I Standup:
We had some final words from the organizers. They were already talking about next year.
I was a little sick all weekend, so I didn't have the best time. The course was interesting, but slow. It was also cool to essentially race through the town, but it made it more difficult to keep it clear.