Rider: Marcello Danese, 52 years old, Italy
CREW: Cristiano Caporali (Crew Chief and coach), Antonio Foroni (timekeeper), Eugenio Bedin,Carlo Zago, Roberto Quartarolo,Luigi Baietta, Loris Endrizzi,Andrea Ridolfi.
mechanic : PietroStocco
massagist : Marco Pozzani
OFFICIAL : Marco Dal Zovo, Monica Minucelli e Paolo Ferraro
At 9:13:54 am of June 2nd 2017, in the village of Quaderni begins the attempt to beat the record of ‘cycling for 24h on road’. Weather-conditions are good except for the atmospheric temperature which has reached 32°C, unusual for the season and the wind, usually absent in June, but after months of physical and mental preparation, it takes a lot more to discourage me from continuing with this attempt.
The circuit is a quadrangle of just over 9 km with good surface for 6 km, ragged for the remaining 3 km, but it is a nice little bumpy circuit with safe right turns all along.
The choice for a bike is an aluminum alloy s-work with fulcrum, racing wheels with 25 mm michelin lithion tires. I decided to race with cheap low-cost equipment and limit my intake to water to 20 litres in all and food with sandwiches (19 rolls) with ham, cheese or apricot jam, nothing extraordinary, I am a bike lover and I love to ride with freedom and simplicity.
The idea of the record was born in 2014 when I watched the televised reportage of the MERSEY ROAD (UK) 24-hour stopwatch ride. This was done the way I like, taken as a challenge, conceived by a bike lover like me, attentive to the essential details for a ride, without the pretence of being a professional rider but planning it with care and attention to details.
At the end of November I meet a person who will prove to be extremely important for the success of this attempt, Cristiano Caporali. He is an athletic trainer with experience in Ultracycling and who adopts revolutionary and fascinating training systems. In February 2015 I would have been 50 years old and I wanted to celebrate it in an unusual fashion, by registering for the Mersey Road ride. Unfortunately, 10 days before the event, the person who is supposed to accompany me, is unable to come and so I must abandon the original plan. However, I go back to Monza (I) for the 12 hours ride and Le Mans for the 24 hours ride.
In 2016, I reconsider the plan, but the bad weather in April and May prevented me from training on the track we had chosen and ruined the track surface. I decided then to do it on the road but two months before the date I came down with a physical problem which forces me to be confined to my bed for 10 days with the doctor forbidding me from touching a bike for a month. It’s a tough hit for my morale and I have to terminate my bike season for a while.
In November 2016 I begin with the preparation and I immediately find on my way a great team LAMACART CYCLING TEAM that immediately believes in the project and becomes available to help me, it will be the beginning of a hard but beautiful time that will accompany me until June 2017.
Unfortunately, I am the first of my category and I have little comparison and we decide to go for the 30km/hr median speed. The starting speed is well above the average (100 miles at 20,298 mile/hr, 300 miles at 19,339 miles/hr) and everything progresses well until 4.00 am when I suffer a crisis probably because of the heat suffered in the previous hours which drastically reduces my food intake. Cristiano, my trainer decides to stop the ride and allow me to take a short sleep for 15 min to rest my mind and then to complete the final 5 hrs before the end of the race. After a stoppage of 23 minutes I restart the race and with the passage of time I start feeling much better and gather speed rapidly reaching the remarkable speed of 34km/hr average during the last hour.
My mind flies and at the end of the race the whole village of Quaderni is there to celebrate the completion of my race with bells ringing from the bell tower in the village and fixing the completion of the race in my mind with unforgettable memories.
We decide not to complete a final run as we have completed the race with 2 minutes to spare and decide to make a countdown to the 24 hrs with a chorus of voices. The completion of the race is recorded at 9:13:55 am of June 3rd, 2017 with a record of 442.12 miles at an average of 18,422 mile/hr. It is not what I hoped for but I am very happy with the final result.
Friends around celebrate and show a lot of emotions which is the best part of this adventure, to see so many people happy for me. Some say: “I am sorry it all finished” and someone asks me “what are we going to do next year?”. I don’t reply and I just enjoy the moment. Thank you all!