VAL D’ORCIA GRAVEL – THE RACE UNDER THE RAIN AND WIND
Alcide and Simone from Infinity eBike Team challenge the weather in two days of strong wind, lots of dust and rainfalls
Just a few months ago Infinity Zero Y Gravel was an eBike Concept for mixed use. The Gravel Road Series event in Val d’Orcia proved it to be a reliable vehicle ready for anything.
POSTED BY SIMONE AITA , PHOTOS AND VIDEO BY ALCIDE PECE – WORDS BY SIMONE AITA – 30 OCTOBER 2018
It is the night before the race that Alcide once again consults the weather forecast after a delicious dinner of tagliatelle with porcini mushrooms and Tuscan Chianina steak in the company of his friend Guido. The forecasts do not bode well, but it does not matter, we are here to try our Infinity Zero Y in any condition, and if there is rain and mud it will be even more fun.
At four o’clock in the morning the storm wakes us both up, but we go back to sleep hoping that the wind takes it away. 7:00 am, we look out from the balcony of our Abbadia San Salvatore Hotel and we see the sky that is all grey, gusts of strong wind, but at least it does not rain.
After breakfast we pack our things up and head for San Quirico d’Orcia. In fact, the planned departure from Bagno Vignoni is moved due to bad weather conditions. It rains and the gusts of wind are strong, but once in San Quirico the sight of the first cyclists with the participation number under the saddle charges us with new forces. We quickly find parking and mount our e-Gravel to head towards the start of the race.
At about 9.30 we start and immediately heavy rain and wind crash down on us again. With the Infinity app we set the 50% assistance level to be able to keep up with the lead group. The choice turns out to be successful and even with additional 4 kg we had to carry on the shoulders we manage to keep a good pace despite the storm.
At the 35th kilometre we reach the rest point, soaked through and feeling quite cold. No one is in a hurry, even the cyclists of the leading group. Once again, the attention of many riders switches to our electric vehicles and we allow ourselves a few more minutes of rest to satisfy questions of the most curious. Autonomy and weight are the classic questions, someone goes to ask for more info and we leave everyone amazed informing them that our product is entirely developed in Italy.
We have ridden more than a half of the route and despite the rain and wind we have used just about a quarter of the battery, perfectly in line with the power settings, that on average was constantly adding about 100 watts to the power of our legs.
The most challenging climbs of the route comes immediately after the rest point and finally brief interruptions of rain allow us to make some shots for our reportage.
The weather seems to improve and we cross the valley that connects Pienza and Bagno Vignoni with remarkable ease jumping on puddles and taking advantage of the wet ground to test our Schwalbe G-One Allround tyres. The grip is excellent and fits perfectly this type of terrain both dry and wet.
I start to feel the legs a bit heavy, probably because of many kilometres ridden the day before. So for the last part of the route I decide to increase the level of assistance to 70%. The legs lighten up and I even allow myself to climb on the pedals arriving to the medieval village of San Quirico d’Orcia finishing the race.