After what was a very eventful and exciting time in South Africa for the Dimension Data Continental Team’s first ever training camp, as well as a few local races, we are now settling in nicely after almost a month in Lucca, our new home.
When we left South Africa it was Summer, nice t-shirt and board shorts kind of weather, stepped off the plane in Florence to be welcomed by a nice and brisk 7 Degrees Celsius outside. Hardly any sleep from our long travel, it was just before midnight and we were in Florence airport heading to Lucca some 90km away… Two vans, eight bike boxes, seven riders and a whole lot of extra luggage, you could swear it was a woman’s team that had just arrived! Two Italian drivers waiting to pick us up, very little English on their side and pretty much no Italian from our side made for an interesting and somewhat hilarious outcome! Somehow, for the life of me I don’t know how but we managed to fit everything in… JUST. Although I doubt the polizia would have been too happy with us had they pulled us over and discovered JJ (team mechanic) to be hidden underneath about 3 bike boxes in the van (I promise he has a visa). All in all we arrived at our new home, just after one in the morning, smelling as fresh as manure and there was no hot water, welcome to Italy lads! (turns out we just had to turn the heat cylinder on… idiots!).
Early morning wake up to get everything sorted at the Service Course. Bikes, winter kit (we were lucky enough to go without in SA) and a friendly reminder to KEEP RIGHT on the roads. Can’t count how many times I nearly climbed into the drivers seat thinking it was the passenger seat.
First ride on the Italian roads was not a disappointment. Incredibly narrow, twisty, mountainous and with stunning views, it is a cycling paradise. I believe myself and the rest of the team are going to have an absolute blast living and training here. I don’t know of many 18 year old’s who get to live in Italy and ride their bikes all over Europe as a job. Living the dream! Hoping for a good year filled with some amazing experiences with some good people.
I am sorry it has taken so long for me to bring this blog post to life. I have been neglecting typing as much as possibly because I can’t stand typing so slow with a broken hand but that is another story all together.
If you’ve read it this far I thank you for sticking around, I’ll most certainly be updating my blog a lot more now that I have some great help with one of the Dimension Data media manager’s Damian Murphy.
Until next time, CIAO! 🙂