PezCycling News - What's Cool In Road Cycling : From Tirreno To Sanremo: A Soul Adventure

Now On Pez
From Tirreno To Sanremo: A Soul Adventure
Our Italian race chaser Alessandro simply has bike racing pulsing through his veins. He was born on the Tirreno and now lives on the Adriatic so when the Tirreno-Adriatco came into his region this past week he couldn't help but skip work and travel to see the race. Just one last roadside warmup for him before his first true love, Sunday's Milan Sanremo.

I confess. I had two afternoons out at Tirreno Adriatico this week. Two days away from the office, family and Pez too. I went there just for myself: to remember the talk of the old sea and to listen the talk of the new one and to prepare to the first big issue of the year: the Classicissima.

The blue of the Tirreno sea from the top of the Poggio climb on a sunny day at the end of a Milan Sanremo a few years ago.

Milan Sanremo is the race that sticks in my memory. It’s the first race that I saw live on the road (24 years ago), and it’s my favorite one ever. This time of the year I have the same feeling about her and I always try to care for this feeling doing my best to nurture it. Take some time to walk along the sea, really watch instead of just look around. It’s a very personal emotion that, with years, I understood it must be handled in the correct way. Definitively something more than a bike race.

The best the Adriatico sea can offer you: a pasta with local shellfish and other delicious local products. In the background is a bottle of Verdicchio dei Catelli di Jeasi, a local white wine which matches it perfectly.

One of the best ways to nurture the Sanremo feeling is to spend some time at Tirreno Adriatico. My point of view about this race is that it is something that is strongly linked to the last 14 years of my life. My life is a sort of Tirreno Adriatico adventure, having spent 26 years on the Tirreno and the last 14 on the Adriatico.

Fishermen on the beach of Tirreno on the Liguria coast where I was born.

After a long internal voyage I can say I was finally able to establish a feeling with both seas. So, a bike race that takes place every March before Sanremo becomes an opportunity to balance emotions and memories.

Tyrrhenian is the blue. Adriatic is the light. I was born in front of the Tyrrhenian in 1974 and I lived in front of it till 2001. Then I moved to the Adriatic following the national service in the navy at an early stage and after that it became the fixed base for jobs around the world. In few words a day I left my sea and I could never come back. That’s the story of many.

At the beginning and for a long time more I felt a void, watching the waves during the winter season. The two seas are very close but are also very different. The waves are different, the colors are different, the sound is different.

The Tyrrhenian speaks as an adult: it can be very strong, stronger than the Adriatic, but its talk is loud and clear. The waves are bigger and their frequency is almost fixed. The Adriatic is a mess; when the wind blows it creates waves on waves and its talk becomes a cry. I think this difference is due to depths. On the Adriatic you can walk for hundred meters. On the Tyrrhenian you have the abysses a step ahead. High mountains are behind the Tyrrhenian, especially in Liguria, my region. You have hills or flat on the Adriatic.

The winter is very cold on the Adriatic and warmer on the Tyrrhenian but summers are humid on Tyrrhenian than not on the other. The sunset comes from land on Tyrrhenian but from sea on Adriatic and you have the sunrise opposite again. The fish is big on Tyrrhenian but small on Adriatic.

Girls are nice on each of them.

I missed the Tyrrhenian for many years. I could not find peace to build a relationship with such different waters but something that helped me is a bike race, the Tirreno Adriatico.

A winter day a few years ago I started to look back at all the photos I had from Tirreno Adriatico (which I chased just on Adriatic side) and I started to realize how much I had to thank the new sea in terms of memories. It started from race pictures but then I moved to the family; for my daughter the Adriatic is her first and only sea. My son is the same, he was born in front of its waters as I was on the other side.

My daughter Diana a few years ago (she will be ever a kid for dad) in a small fishing port on the Adriatico.

My boy Mario familiarizing himself with his sea: the Adriatico

Last Monday and Tuesday I had my two afternoons off and I went to watch once more the race of two seas. I kept all the time for me, doing what I like to do at races: shooting riders. Two great sunny afternoons and the feeling of Milan Sanremo that was growing inside of me.

An image of stage 6 Tirreno Adriatico last Monday in Porto Sant’Elpidio during a perfect day off from work.

But what was most important for me was to enjoy the freedom, enjoy the sun and that special talk that only the Adriatic can. Now it’s time to sleep and to wait that the long race will take the start once more. Leaving the flat in the morning she will cross the Turchino at lunch time and I will be in front to my native sea and its familiar talk. So, this is my doom: I feel that I am now a part of two seas and yet I miss one of them at any time.

The lonely road of the Poggio waits now for the race on Sunday - and me!

Keep it tuned to PEZ in the coming days for a full wrap of the action from Milan-Sanremo starting with the race report and PeloPics on Sunday, videos, results and reactions in Eurotrash Monday then pro analysis from Lee Rodgers and of course Alessandro's roadside report.


Pez Comments

Related Stories