I keep getting told to get a website. I’m not entirely sure what I’m going to do with it but, now I have one, here’s a bit about me and what I do.
Cycling isn’t just a sport to me, it’s my passion. It was an essential therapy that helped get me through a low period in my life. Some years ago, during this period, I was very lucky to be in the right place at the right time when an opportunity presented itself that both helped me and, ultimately, thousands of cyclists to experience one of the greatest events in the world of our wonderful sport.
Despite the Maratona dles Dolomites being the biggest and most oversubscribed sportive in Italy, it was virtually unheard of in the UK and Ireland. I’d been taken there by my great friend, Pat O’Hare, who lived in Rome and, just by chance, found myself having coffee with some of the organisers of the event and officials from the regional tourist office. I was quizzed as to why there were virtually no riders from the British Isles amongst the 9000 field. Of course, I had no idea but I started to think how I could help them as they were keen to get us over there.
I thought of contacting cycling magazines and my new Italian friends said they would give me guaranteed places, worth their weight in gold, to help encourage riders over to their two wheeled paradise. I decided to contact Cycling Weekly as it had always been my ‘comic’ of choice and they were happy to help me get the event known, as long as I did all of the work. This, I was happy to do.
More to do in Alta Badia, especially if you’re a mountain biker’
These two events are amongst the best in the MTB world:
If you’re interested email Philipp at Ostaria Posta. He can put together a great deal for you and it’s the perfect place to stay >>> firstname.lastname@example.org
Things took off and, what started as a favour to my new friends at Maratona and the magazine, became something that began to occupy a lot of my time. My reward was a free ride and the satisfaction of helping fellow cyclists experience it. After some years my situation began to change, as did the demand for places. Increasing numbers year on year, more and more publicity and, unsurprisingly, more time spent on administration made me re-evaluate things and begin operating as a business. From just a handful at the start to a sizeable peloton today it is now most definitely a job. That said, I get just as much from it and love the event as much as I did that first year. At times it feels like herding cats but my inbox immediately following each Maratona makes it all worthwhile as people realise my evangelistic enthusiasm is justified.
Personally, I feel very proud to have been largely responsible for the amount of interest and demand there currently is for Maratona dles Dolomites amongst riders from the UK and Ireland. There are around 1000 entrants from the British Isles who now enjoy the biggest and best granfondo Italy has to offer. The entrants grab places either through me, one of the various agencies offering packages or through the lottery for entries. Each year over 30,000 riders enter the online lottery for a starting position.
My role is to provide entry only but I give advice and recommendations on travel and accommodation. Over the years I’ve got to know the area really well and often holiday there outside Maratona time.
If you’d like to know more or apply for a place on Maratona dles Dolomites then get in touch.
Over the years I’ve met some wonderful people doing this job and I’d like to make a few recommendations.
Ostaria Posta is probably the best hotel I’ve ever stayed in, and I’ve stayed in a lot! This family run operation at the heart of the Dolomites is perfectly located for cycling, skiing and hiking. Paolo will give you the most amazing routes, whatever your activity, and his son Philipp, a somellier, will advise the very best wines to compliment the truly wonderful food prepared by the rest of the family. Once you have experienced Posta you will definitely return. Check out their website at www.ostariaposta.com
Serre Des Ormes is a cycling/hiking bed and breakfast in the glorious Meouge Valley, just 40 kms from Mont Ventoux. Kate and Paul will give you as much or as little attention as you require. They will send you off on a route, or accompany you, and then treat you to a glorious home cooked feast at the end of your day.
Pav Bryan is a cycling coach who’s helped a lot of riders achieve their goals. Whatever your level, if you need help deciding what’s best for you then I can wholeheartedly recommend Pav.
Marco Mori runs Gusto Cycling. His Sheffield based organisation does a similar thing for the retro L’Eroica event to what I do for Maratona. Whether you’re interested in Eroica Britannia or the original Tuscan event then Marco is the man to speak to.