I wanted to introduce everyone who reads La Gazzetta Della Bici to some new friends of mine who run the amazing cycling holidays company GUSTO CYCLING www.gustocycling.com Marco is one of the nicest guys you could ever meet and his holidays are just the kind of thing I love. There are many companies offering this kind of thing but the reason I love Marco’s is because it is run by actual Italians who love cycling like I do, who know the area and its people inside out and always sort you out with the nicest stuff whilst you are there. They don’t try and convince you of their EPIC STATUS or make you believe that you will be in some exclusive club like other so called companies do, they will simply show you the true heart of Italy and the reason why it is one of the greatest countries on earth and the heart of cycling. So don’t waste your money spend it here instead. Tuscany is beautiful and they will show you everything it has to offer. Take a look at their website to see for yourself or give them a call. All the details are on their site. I’ve included a bit of an introduction from their website to let you know who they all are and I hope you check them out. Its not too late to get to ITALY for the GIRO and they run a great GIRO d’ ITALIA package too.
Meet the Family
Introducing the Inspiration behind Gusto Cycling – Marco Mori
A Passionate Cyclist
I have been obsessed with cycling since my uncle took me to see my first ever, professional race in Montecatini Terme, I was 11 years old. It was the first time I had ever seen a bike race and the biggest names in cycling were there; Eddy Merckx, Gianni Motta, Franco Bitossi, Felice Gimondi to name just a few. The atmosphere from the crowd was electric especially every time Merckx came speeding past. It was a day I will never forget. From that moment, I took up cycling with a passion. I raced as a junior, and loved being part of my local cycling club, the personal challenge and the collective camaraderie was fantastic. I have made many good friends and it has given me the opportunity to participate in events in the UK, France, Italy, Israel, Jordan and Cuba. I have also organised a number of Charity cycle tours from the UK and Belgium to Disneyland Paris where I worked for 12 years, raising over £150k for the charity Macmillan Nurses. For groups of close friends, I have also organised many private cycle trips to Italy; in particular Tuscany, whose beauty in my eyes is unrivalled.
25 Years in the Travel Industry
My career has always been in the travel industry, I have a great deal of tour operating experience, having spent 12 years working for The Walt Disney company in a variety of senior roles plus worked for Italian and UK tour operators. I decided last year, to start my own cycling tour operation to Tuscany to capitalise on my passion for cycling, my tour operating experience and the many contacts throughout the region. Most importantly, my family and cycling friends are all based in and around the beautiful town of Montecatini Terme who all share my vision. Our aim is to offer a variety of cycling experiences whether you’re a keen sportsman wanting to challenge yourself in a cycling event or a Ciclomatori who wishes to indulge in a more sedate, lighter cycle experience and concentrate more on making friends and discovering the finest Tuscan cuisine! Or perhaps a mountain bike, training week or general cycle breaks with family or friends at whatever level of experience you feel comfortable with. Whichever package you choose, you will fall in love with the region.
Gusto’s Cycling Guide of Distinction – Fabrizio
A child of Tuscany, Fabrizio Giacomelli, was an amateur champion cyclist winning Campione Toscana in 1995 and raced in the prestigious Giro D’Italia in 1997. Racing and training in the region since he was 11 years old, Fabrizio’s passion for cycling still burns brightly – He still trains regularly with some of Tuscany’s greats, including, Michelse Bartoli, Francesco Casagrande, Andrea Tafi, Franco Ballerini, Paulo Bettini & Giiovanni Visconti, Vincenzo Nibali & Fabiana Luperini (4 times womens Giro d’ Italia winner). In 2006 Fabrizio won the Italian Cicloamatori championship. Naturally, Gusto cycling is delighted to have Fabrizio as our head cycling guide and as you would expect, his experience and knowledge of the region makes him perfectly placed to organise a unique and memorable cycling holiday trail for you; from challenging routes to beautiful scenic diversions with regular stops at favourite restaurants in the region.
Operations Manager – Massimo Chirli
Massimo Chirli has a great passion for cycling, he knows the Tuscan territory like the back of his hand, both on and off road. A professional in the tourism sector for “Gran Turismo”, his knowledge of the tourist routes in Tuscany is extensive from the Apuane Alps to the Chianti region up to Maremma to the main island of Elba. See the map for more information about these areas. Massimo will be part of the Gusto Cycling operations team and will be on hand to support throughout your holiday with useful advice and guidance. Massimo also appreciates the good cuisine, especially the typical Tuscany dishes. So, if you are looking to try a particular Tuscan dish, wine or restaurant, Massimo is the man to ask!
Sister Act – Michela Mori
My sister, Michela, has many years of travel experience, working on behalf of American Express in Florence, accompanying groups in both Italy and elsewhere. She now lives in a villa, nestled in the beautiful hills of Montecatini, with her husband and two young children. Gusto Cycling (in particular, Marco, her older brother!) is delighted to have Michela on board, her hospitality and warm friendly nature, perfectly reflects the personality of Gusto Cycling and our determination to welcome all our guests like one of the family!