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gravel Archivi - Cinelli

Race Report: Mythicalstateof’s ATB challenge 2022

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The ATB challenge  is an all terrain bicycle reality TV show organized by Mythicalstateof.

Open to riders from across the world, the core tenant of the challenge is to document a ride of 150 miles (minimum 50% dirt) in 29 hours without ever stopping for more than two hours across a self-designed course that tests your physical, spiritual, mental and emotional limits.

 

This year our friends Andrea, Yuri and Matteo decided to enter the challenge.

Was their ride physical, spiritually, mentally and emotionally testing?
It looks like it from the pictures, so we called and ask them a few question about the challenge.

 

 

What was the worst/best planned part of the ride?

The route was designed starting from the famous Strade Bianche, to which, however, we added MTB parts that took us on really steep and rocky single tracks.
This gave us a bit of trouble and led us to lose a lot of time especially during the first section of the race: a lot of hike n bike happens that night.
On the other hand, this method took us to some very beautiful and easily traveled places through green valleys and farmers’ farmsteads.


What was the worst part of the ride?

Our ride began in the late afternoon and ended the night of the next day, the worst time being when the sun went down again on the second night and we found ourselves in a very cold valley from which we could not get out except by traveling about 30km on a paved road. It was really cold.


What was the best part of the ride?

Definitely the sunrise: after a night spent wandering around inside a nature park we found ourselves at the top of a lunar-looking hill. The sun came up and on the way down we found a cafe that had opened and we ate pretty much everything they had. We were completely muddy, cold and swollen-eyed; we had covered only a very small portion of the trail and there was really a lot of it ahead of us but we couldn’t wish for anything more than to be there.


What was the most beautiful thing you saw?

The hills around Siena (Crete Senesi) are crazy, arid and barren. The population density is very low, there is virtually no one there which is pretty crazy. That was an epic bicycle moment, mega smooth ride. But the most beautiful thing I saw you couldn’t actually see and that was the feeling of being free to roam around with no real destination. It’s amazing how many things you can do and see in 29 hours if you aren’t on 26″ and how many states of mind you can go through.


What was the tastiest thing you ate?

The clay soil of the trail.


What would you keep about bike set up if you were to do the ride again?

The bike was great even on mixed terrain: very fast, precise and comfortable. I carried few things so as not to weigh it down, and there were moments while riding where I thought: wtf this bike rules.


What would you change?

The only bummer I had was that since there was so much mud every now and then I had to stop and remove it to get the wheels to spin again lol

 

 

If you are curious to see how it went, on Saturday 28th of January (9 P.M. CET) they broadcast it live worldwide, and “A PANEL OF EXPERT ATB LUMINARIES AND LEGENDS” will gather to decide the winner of the challenge.

 

 

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Discover more about the Cinelli Nemo Gravel used during the ATB challenge by Andrea.

trick track bikes antonbentframe

My first UCI race

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What happens when two Milanese messengers pin on a race number for the first time at Italy’s first ever UCI-sanctioned gravel race, Monsterrato?

 

 

Several weeks ago two young Milanese messengers and friends Chloe Mazza and Pietro De Giacomo, came and visited at our HQ in Caleppio, outskirts of Milan.

Both Chloe and Pietro are fast, both ride cargo bikes for work, both are extremely active in local messenger-organized races around Milan and both ride Cinelli track bikes when not on their work bikes: Pietro an ultra-rare Cinelli x MASH CX ss that he found on subito.it last year for less than €700 (!), Chloe a 2019 Vigorelli Steel “black night” edition (her first ever “real” bike).

 

 

 

 

 

Together we discussed the possibility of them pinning on a number at Italy’s first ever UCI-sanctioned gravel race, Monsterrato and trying to achieve a “fairytale” qualification for the Gravel World Championships.

Both were more than up for the challenge.

We signed them to Circolo Ciclistico Cinelli-Iuter our “informal” team, open to anybody with same attitude as us, we gave them a team jersey, gear and bikes: Made in Italy steel Nemo Gravel for Pietro, carbon fiber Zydeco King for Chloe.

With only a few days of proper riding to get used to their new equipment Pietro and Chloe set off to the race with our team “manager” Cappe and Charlie, his vintage T3 Volkswagen van.

Of the race – their first ever “serious” race – both said much the same thing: the atmosphere was very different, the adrenaline of the mass start together with elite athletes is a kick unique to the sport of cycling but the speed, despite an enormous amount of kilometres in their legs this season, was just too much and very soon the dream of qualifying for the world championships evaporated and both were left to enjoy a different kind of challenge, with themselves and against a particularly technical course.

 

 

 

 

At the end of the race we asked Chloe what the biggest difference between this race and the Italian Cycle Messenger Championship less than a month ago and we found the answer pretty illuminating:

“The biggest difference is that the point of a messenger championship is to race but also to meet people and to learn new skills and techniques for messenger cycling, like how to strap objects to your cargo or discover strange, exotic, custom made components…”

 

Would they race another UCI race? Maybe yes, maybe not, it was a good experience, it was fun, it was intense, it was crazy!

The first few kilometres in the pack, covered in dust with only a few metres of visibility were unforgettable but when cycling becomes racing it also loses a lot of the values that they find so interesting…

 

 

 

 

Follow our instagram profile @cinelli_official for more adventures!

And if you are curious, check out the King Zydeco and the Nemo Gravel that Chloe and Pietro used for the race!

Photos: Luca Panegatti