Guest Article: Milano-Sanremo 2011

Guest Article: Milano-Sanremo 2011

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In my imagination, I don’t think there is anything cooler than a civilian – one of us – being allowed to take the red pill and go behind the lines with a Pro team. Oh, wait. There are two things cooler than that: the first would be to have that individual be asked to be the staff photographer for a team, and the second would be to have it be for the first Monument of the year – Milano Sanremo.

This very thing happened to our own Pedale.Forchetta, and he lived to tell the tale.  He even shared some of his photographs with us. Here is his brief account of his experience, exclusively found here at Velominati.  His story leaves out the important detail of how he managed to become the photog to accompany the team, but if you take only one thing away from this story, let it be this: never stop dreaming, and it never hurts to ask. Grazie, Pedale! Check out his Flikr stream; it’s fly.

Yours in cycling,

Frank

Last year I had the idea to follow the entire race, from Milano to Sanremo, in a team car. This idea was not new nor original but for sure was very difficult to realize. During a Classic race only one team car can follow the race and usually only 3 people are allowed into it: the the team manager, the Direttore Sportivo and the mechanic. No place for a photographer.

But as you know, nothing ventured – nothing gained.

As it turned out, FSA contacted one of their sponsored teams, Androni Giocattoli, asking them to include in their expedition a non-professional photographer. Who should be asked? Well… me. Finally I had the chance I had so longed for! In the end the arrangements were quite easy, and I was assigned to the masseur’s car that during the race had the responsibility of the food supply at the 2 Feed Zones.

The day started early, and at 7:00 in the morning I was already at the team hotel to assist the preparations before the race. There I met with the mechanics, the masseurs and all the staff. Boy! A truck full of Bianchi Oltre, Fulcrum carbon wheels, components, small parts and whatever object could be considered useful for a racer. Clean and be cleaned, as any Velominatus knows, is a major pillar of every routine the team performs. I was ready for that, but not for such a high degree. Every item was spotless.

To be a racer you have to be fast on your bike. To follow a race or to overtake it in a car you have to be even faster.

Feed zones are interesting places full of tifosi of all ages; they gather there to see their favorite rider or simply to attend an event they have seen every year for a long time; a sort of ritual. The Milano Sanremo is easy to love. It reminds you that the Spring is coming! When all is said and done, the people I saw during the race are the best keepsake of this beautiful day. Whomever they are: racers, tifosi, nostalgic or passionate, they are beautiful people.

The atmosphere at the finish is overwhelming and I can not even imagine what the winner is feeling.

[album: http://filemanager.dutchmonkey.com/photoalbums.php?currdir=/velominati.com/content/Photo Galleries/frank@velominati.com/Milano Sanremo/]

// Guest Article

  1. Awesome, thanks Pedale! I know this is showing my ignorance, but what does Forchetta translate to in English? From my brief expereince with Latin, the old kind, I remember fortis is the root for most words meaning brave, and I’m probably getting them confused, but so far I’ve been interpreting it as pedal bravely or pedal with courage.
    (blushes) thanks to Wiki it appears Forchetta means fork, especially a piece of cutlery, so…pedals and food?

  2. Pedale.Forchetta, I am impressed with the goal you set for yourself and the fact that it was achieved one year later. The great photos are just icing on the cake. Non c’è male!

  3. What a tremendous day you must have had. I’m a big fan of pic #7. It’s just chockers full of awesomeness!

  4. Wow, I love that final line – everyone out for the race was a beautiful person. Wonderful!

  5. Fantastic! Great pictures.

  6. Thank you Pedale.Forchetta for sharing these photos and your story with us. It’s this type of thing that really adds to this community. You taking real anatomy of a photo pics and sharing your stories with us all brings us all closer to the action. Grazie!

  7. Souleur!
    How right you are…

    @minion
    Ah! You are right it’s Pedal and Fork, sport and life, it was the name of a very, very old Italian cycling club.

    @All
    Really thank you.

  8. “Pedal and fork”, I love it. On the days I ride those seem to be the two most important things.

    But you should add one word, which should have equal standing: birra!

  9. can we say “living the life”?

  10. I love number 13. it brings to mind classic photos from the early days of cycling.

  11. Pedale.Forchetta

    Thankyou for the photo’s and the post. Both are very cool and makes me just a bit envious of the opportunity that was given to you.

    Pedal and fork, sport and life, it all makes sense now. A passion for both; living both passions – una bella vita

  12. Bellissimo. Mi piacionno molto. Grazie mille.

  13. @G’phant
    BTW how’s the injury? Back on the bike by now?

  14. Very cool, Pedale.Forchetta! Thanks!

  15. @il ciclista medio
    First ride last Sunday. Went ok – can’t really climb as can’t pull on bars at all (as well as being fat), and was a bit painful even on flat so wouldn’t want to do it for more than a couple of hours. But was great just being able to ride again. And pain is relative. Looking at photo #8 reminds me I got off lightly.

  16. Great photos & great story! I’m kind of jealous, but really just thrilled that a fellow Velominati was lucky enough to have such an experience.

    My favorite photo is of the couple waiting for the race, their doggie dog almost as eager as they are for the riders to come along.

    The one of E.G. Larsson’s guns is also awesome, though his tattoo detracts a bit from the purity of Big Ring Legs in black & white.

    I don’t know what I’d do if I were this close to the PROS; they are like ghosts to me, for no palpable, breathing person can be that fast on a bicycle.

    Thanks again, Pedale! Pedal & Fork, simple and wonderful.

  17. Pedale thank you, it is a little feeling of being there. What are your summer plans?? Maybe the V should commission you?

  18. @Pedale.Forchetta

    Where did you get that bitchin’ Duracci T-shirt? I want one.

  19. Ciao Cyclops,
    Have a look here:
    http://store.gagedesoto.com/
    thank you!

  20. @Rob
    I do not have planned anything yet
    but as I said: nothing ventured – nothing gained.
    Some ideas will come…

  21. Pedale.Forchetta:
    Souleur!
    How right you are…
    @minion
    Ah! You are right it’s Pedal and Fork, sport and life, it was the name of a very, very old Italian cycling club.
    @All
    Really thank you.

    Awesome, that’s even cooler. While I found my false assumption amusing that little bit of information has made my day.

  22. Very well done, to be in a team car for Milan-San Remo with a good eye, a camera, and a good heart, you have done us all proud. This is a post I will revisit when I need a cycling “dose”. FAS and Androni Giocattoli were wise to pick you as photographer as you really did an excellent job of capturing M-SR as more than just a blur or racers. Bravo.

  23. Pedale.Forchetta:
    @Rob
    I do not have planned anything yet
    but as I said: nothing ventured – nothing gained.
    Some ideas will come…

    To bad there is no awesome dutch guy we could get to make a plan???

  24. @Rob, @Pedale.Forchetta
    We’re on it like April rain in Seattle. Stay tuned.

  25. !

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