Padova Grand Prix
Padova is the province in Italy just outside Venice. The town of Padova lies about a 30 hour from Teolo. The town of Teolo sits atop a hill, that also hosts several TV and radio towers
is a popular tourist destination, as there are a lot of hiking and biking and other recreation nearby. There are several wineries on the mountain.
The course starts in front of the Hotel Turetta
at a T intersection.
From the hotel there is a long straight,
that allows the speeds to build up to about 55 mph before the
first of seven hairpins.
The first turn is a hard left hander
to enter a right hand hairpin. The left requires braking.
The next six hairpins are quite close,
with very little room to set up between turns. Hairpin #7 is probably the largest hairpin so you still carry some speed heading into hairpin #6, a left hander, so a little breaking is required.
#5 is a sharp right hander.
#4 is a left hander.
#3 is pretty close to #4 and is a right hander
There is a little more time to set up for the left hand #2.
The final hairpin is a right hander, while not as close as #3 is to #4, there isn't a whole lot of time to set up for it.
Exiting the final hairpin there is an easy turn to the left
followed by a slightly harder turn to the right,
not quite a chicane. Follows is a short straight leading into a hard left hand sweeper
to the finish line, across from a graveyard.
Thursday, July 23
We pulled into town in early afternoon. First thing we did was get checked in.
We got our information packets, and our hotel assignment. Unfortunately our hotel was at the bottom of the course, not far from the campground
which was next to the finish line. By the time we got checked into the hotel it was mid afternoon. I hadn't eaten all day, so my next goal was to get some food. Unfortunately it was after lunch and before dinner. I wasn't sure exactly how far our hotel was from the town center. So we stopped at the first place we saw. While the restaurant was set for dinner, they weren't serving. The proprietor didn't speak much English. I got across to him I wanted to eat, was very hungry. He said there was no grill, but he could make us some ham and cheese sandwiches, We sat outside in the corner, in some shade. And at some of the best ham and cheeze sandwiches I've ever had. Perhaps it was because I was hungry, but I do know the cheese was very fresh. To top it off, he brought out these two huge slices of water melon.
After eating lunch I walked up the course. This is going to a real interesting race. The corners are tighter and closer together than they were last week in Argonay. Later that evening there was a welcoming dinner
Unfortunately it was mainly ham and cheeze!
Friday, July 24
Our hotel was at the bottom of the hill. I arranged for one of the shuttles to take us to the top.
We got to the top, where things were getting setting up.
The road was closed right on schedule, but of course we didn't get started on time. Once we got underway. We would run down hill, then jump in a shuttle at the bottom.
Once a shuttle was filled
it would head to the top, via an alternate route. The route wasn't exactly short, and half of it was over a one lane dirt road. When the shuttles got to the top, we would jump out, and the shuttles would take a third route to the bottom. This left the course also open. Unfortuantely we still had some delays. Not only was it hot,
it was very humid. Fortunately the local roller skate club set up water for us at the bottom.
Also a refreshment stand
was set up near the start line with water and fruit.
We got a couple of runs in before breaking for lunch.
We were left to our own for lunch. Many of us decided to have lunch at the hotel, right at the start line.
I got the spaghetti, but unfortunately the portion was small, and there was almost no sauce!
After lunch, they started to do tech.
They planned to run tech all afternoon, so we can just hit it when we want to. We got a couple more runs in after lunch. Unfortunately we didn't have enough shuttles, and the alternative routes are long. So we usually had to wait at the bottom for a shuttle.
After a few more runs it was time for the first round of qualifying.
We started with luge, then ran standup.
We finished off the day with classic.
Midway through our qualifying run the timing system stopped working. We finished the qualifying by having them trip the timer manually, when they said the word "go." Apparently someone had ran off the course right at the spot where some of the wires were connected!
After a long hot day on the hill, I enjoyed the cool evening breeze on the balcony of my hotel.
We had some time to kill before the evening festivities.
We headed down to the town center. We started the night off with a parade of the nations. We all lined up behind the flag of our country. Then we marched into the arena.
One the nations were presented the roller skate show started. The show opened with a marching band.
The band also had some flag twillers that put on an impressive show.
The entire roller club then did a performance.
Several of the girls followed this up with some solo
and a couples performace.
The entire club finished with another performance.
The band returned for another amazing flag twirling display. Short video of some of the twirling.
It was difficult to get a good shot with the lighting.
After the ceremony it was time to eat. The food was included, and there was quite a line.
Fortunately I was close to the front,
so it didn't take me long to get my food.
The dinner was very good, and there was a lot of comaradarie and cheering.
A lot of us hung out at the tent chatting, a few people headed back to the campground. And a few people made use of the arena.
Doing old school tricks and jumps.
Shortly after I left a game of longboard soccer broke out.
Saturday, July 25
Today was going to follow the same schedule as yesterday. Except that Inline would run both of their qualifying runs. The IIDA race is a time trial only race. So they wanted the maximum practice time, and have both qualifying runs on the same day. The would also run a third time trial for the top eight or so qualifiers. So we ran practice all morning. Again the day was hot, and we kept to the shade as much as possible.
The roller girls managed to find themselves some shade as well.
They also had some Gatorade in additon to the water and Pepsi.
During our practice runs, they let us run groups of 8.
And a lot of times they tried to mix disciplines. This worked ok if you could catch and pass the standup guys before the turn, but it didn't do to well if they let the mixed groups go too quickly after each other. Occasionly more than 8 people would go, so they eventually moved some fences in front of the start line with a small opening. Allowing only 8 people in front of the fence at a time.
Unfortunately this slowed things down somewhat, especially for the lugers as we had to carry our luges through the small opening.
I decided to head into town for lunch.
The plan was to hit a pizzeria and get a pizza. We went to a fairly large pizzeria in town, and found out they don't server pizza for lunch! I ended up getting some pasta, which was a lot more than yesterday. Because inline would do both of their runs after lunch, I had a fairly long lunch break. I went and watched some of the inline qualifications.
The finish line area was set up nicely, with a bar
and a jumbo tron!
The course had been wired from top to bottom.
Several spots along the way had a stationary camera set up. So that almost the entire course was covered in video! The timing system also used the wires because of the local TV and radio towers would affect the wireless.
When I was ready to go back to the top, I jumped in the front seat of one of the vans, and took a nap until the van filled up. I got back to the top while the inline qualifying was still going on.
I wasn't the only one taking a nap.
It was finally time to do luge qualifying.
It was still sweltering, just getting into the leathers was enough.
We got a warm up run before we started qualifying. We tried to stay in the shade as much as possible.
The TV tent
had a television set up, so we could watch the qualifications. But it wasn't working. Mr Lang slid out and injured his foot.
On our second day of qualifying, we went in reverse order of our first round finishing time. Gave me plenty of time to watch the rest of the field.
Standup came down after luge. I stayed at the bottom a while to watc, before I headed to the top for the classic qualifying.
Again I got down early enough to watch the other buttboards.
After we were done, the final inline time trials were run. But it was getting fairly late so I headed in.
Tonight was supposed to be a big event at the town center. But we were starving, and last night we didn't eat till about 10:30! So a couple of us hit the restaurant at my hotel.
We got to the ceremony late, but they just starting giving out the awards for the winners of today's IIDA Inline race. Then we were rewarded with another roller skate show. This time the show was started with a pair of knights sword fighting.
The roller skate portion of the show was very similar to last night. A couple of the solo dancers were different. And Buggy Roller did a show.
He was definitely a crowd pleaser.
Fortunately I wasn't as hungry as I was the night before, because it was almost 11:00 before they let us in to eat! They had set up a hors d'oeuvres
for those waiting in line.
They had this ginger drink
that was very bitter. The dinner was amazing. Yesterday we lined up and got our dinner in line.
This time they had us sit down, and they brought it to us.
I think everyone enjoyed the multi course dinner. As the dinner wore down they brought out a large cake.
After dinner a few people played soccer in the arena,
but most people turned in early for the race tomorrow.
Sunday, July 26
We were supposed to start early, even though it was already hot. The cops were ready,
and had closed the road on time, but practice started late. Practice would run until lunch. We got a few runs in, trying to hang out in the shade as much as possible.
We broke for lunch at noon. The round needed to be closed for two hours. The original schedule was for a three hour lunch break! Because racing was supposed to start at 3:00 it was decided to try and get the warm up run in around 2:30. While we were trying to decide where to go for lunch, the roller club girls delivered lunch to us!
It was left overs from last nights dinner. But it was enough for lunch.
We spent the rest of lunch trying to escape the heat, or take a siesta.
Women's inline started the race.
We followed this up with six man classic.
I didn't do very well in my heat. I had a poor start, but was gaining on everyone by the first hard turn. Everyone dove into the turn too early, and since I was paying attention to them, as I was approaching them, I also dove in too soon. I ended up breaking too hard, and lost the extra speed I gained. If I had followed my line I might have had a chance. At least the TV was working
so we could watch the entire race.
raced with the lugers.
I rode well in the luge race. In the final I broke too much for the first turn, and chased everyone down over the rest of the course. I was catching Deltour coming into the final hairpin. I figured I needed to be on his left side for the final sweeper, but I had to dive on the inside of him to catch him in the hairpin. I exited the turn with more speed, and was slightly behind him, but on the right side. I decided to try to get to the left side by lifting my legs over him. I was actually going faster relative to him than I thought, as I lift my legs to go over his head I ended up tapping him in the shoulder. This pushed Deltour forward enough that I had no hope of catching him, and I finished 4th.
I hung out at the finish line
to watch the inline and stand up races. It was pretty cool to be able to watch the race on the jumbotron, as you could follow a heat almost the entire way.
ceremony happened shortly after the races finish. It was getting late and the light wouldn't last much longer.
Three lovely ladies from the roller club were our trophy girls.
Kornienko, Hang, Feldbaum
Siegrist, Switzer, Rufli
Labarthe, Mahdzan, Deltour
Deltour, Labarthe, Serek
Women's Classic Luge:
As soon as the ceremonies were over many people started to pack up to hit the road. It was already late, but I still needed to get my equipment from the top of the hill. By the time I returned to the hotel, I was lucky to get a pizza from the local restaraunt as the kitchen was closed!
Monday, July 27
Most people left last night. Only a handful were left in the morning. Several of us made arrangements to be dropped off at the Venice airport and train station with the organizers. It makes it easy when the organizers will pick you up and drop you off.
While the course was technical and a lot of fun, it was slow. There was one turn that required the standup to kick out of the turn! The ceremonies and the jumbotron were really cool additions. It was exciting to watch the entire race from the finish line. I believe we only had one separate shoulder and Lang's broken foot. If I go again next year, I am going to get a hotel room with air conditioning.