My name is Igor Tavella – a fanatic of all kinds of individual sports. Top on the list is without any doubt cycling, which I eat, sleep and breathe. Let’s say that a day without a ride feels unsatisfying and leaves a kind of emptiness.
It wasn’t always like that. ‘Forced’ into cycling by my dad, I started racing at the age of 6 … and hated it, of course. Discussions in the training groups were always about bike components, races, Giro d’Italia and Tour de France, while my only thoughts focused on the new LEGO brick constructions I wanted to do as soon I was back home. Years passed and I did every cycling discipline possible starting from road, bmx, track and then Mountain Biking, which seemed to be the new gold-mine of cycling. Unfortunately, in the Dolomites area you could only find uphill races. Even today, I still digest climbs only because a downhill ride comes afterwards. I played along hoping to get my dad’s permission to ride some downhill races as soon as I was old enough (16) to ride them.
The opportunity to participate in downhill MTB races never came because at the age of 15 my dad finally found the magic potion – or the right cupid arrow – to make me fall in love with cycling. It was the one discipline of cycling that changed everything … CYCLOCROSS.
It was love at first sight! During my first Cyclocross season in 1990, I had a hard time not to finish last. To find my name in the results, I was faster at the start from the bottom. But hell, I loved this discipline and the more the conditions were impossible – the ones where mud would come out of your ears and eyes a day later – the more I liked it. That’s why the next season I started to do something I never did before … to TRAIN, and it paid off because I won the national title. I raced in cyclocross from 1990 to 2012, stepping on the national championship podium 9 times in the various categories. Between 1994 to 2005 I was an established member of the national cyclocross team and took part at World Cup & Superprestige events in the Benelux. It was just great, but every good thing comes to an end in order to have nice memories.
As time for training became monopolized by work and family, it was time to start organizing the priorities in my life. Even though my butt’s been on a bicycle since 1982, I still try to cycle every day together with friends and cycling guests that stay at our family-owned hotel. Now, with this website, I would like to continue to share this passion to all cycling fans that dream to come and cycle the Dolomites passes.
Average km ridden per year: 8.000 (road bike) 2.000 (mountain bike)
Bikes in use: 2 road bikes, 1 Mountain Bike, 2 Cyclocross bikes – all Scapin brand
Shoes: Northwave (road + cyclocross), Sidi (mountain bike)
Helmet: Giro …. switch the letters around and it becomes Igor
Underwear: [put your brand name here]
Pairs of socks missing every year: I always loose the count
Where to follow me: Strava, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
As it is, everything starts with a weekend group ride with friends. During the week – because of work – everyone pedals at a different time and we can only ride together on the weekends, so questions usually start with:
What did you do during the week? Where did you ride?
Strava can now answer this first question, and what is more, it also gives the segment times so you know how your friends did on a climb. So, talk now isn’t about what your mates did during the week but:
How is that new route you rode? Is the road already clean?
And this is also the most common question I get from cycling tourists that come to ride the Dolomites and stay in our houses. So, I decided to group the favourite rides, climb details and pictures that we take when going out on our bikes in one place.
The first most obvious reason may be that I am from Badia. But digging deeply, the question could be better rephrased:
Why do so many local people in Badia practice cycling?
To answer this question we need to go back a couple of decades to 1978. The year when the local cycling club was founded, driven by the passion of 3 local friends: Eduard (my father) and Alberto Tavella together with Otto Vittur. All three were already racers in the local amateur liga in the seventies and their idea was to found the local cycling club in order to spread the passion for cycling to local youth. Badia was (and still is) also the perfect meeting point, located in the middle of the Val Badia valley, so that locals from other towns didn’t have to travel far to join the rides.
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