Location: Bologna, Italy
Weather: 60 Degrees and Partly Cloudy
Distance: 8.2km (5.1 miles)
Finish Time: 21 Minutes 11 Seconds
Overall: 66 out of 257
It was a spectacular day for a race in Bologna, Italy! As I rode the course, it brought me back to the spring of 2006, when I studied abroad in Florence (my blog is still up 13 years later!) and took a weekend trip to Bologna for Tortellini Bolognese. We cycled through the beautiful, arch-lined streets, passing Piazza Maggiore, the Porta San Felice, and the Arco Del Meloncello.
While I wish I was in Italy right now, this race was done in the comfort of my own apartment! Yet, it felt like I was in Italy, so it was the best of both worlds. It was my first “virtual race” and I had so much fun.
The Giro d’Italia is a real race in Italy that has been going on for more than 100 years. It’s a multi-stage pro cycling race that runs for three weeks from May to June. Zwift created a virtual world that is identical to the real-world course that the pros will race during the first leg of the 2019 Giro d’Italia from Bolgona to San Luca.
The race was short, but tough. It started easy with a 3.7 mile flat section, but then went into a 1.3 mile climb with an average gradient of 9.7 percent. I didn’t have a strategy or anything for the race, but decided to keep my heart rate in the 150bpm range. It felt extremely realistic and it was a blast racing real-time alongside people from all over the world.
For participating in the race, everyone received a unique in-game Giro d’Italia cycling cap, a pair of socks and a chance to win a Maglia Rosa official jersey signed by the 2019 Giro d’Italia winner.
I can’t wait to do my next Zwift race!