The long drive to Heathrow airport started smooth with no delays, I was traveling with another rider from the UK, Rob Wickham. We were meeting other riders from the UK and my teammates in Milan. We were a bit nervous about the flight from London as we were traveling for the first time from the black hole called Terminal 5. But to our surprise everything at T5 was good including the nice BA staff, which helped a lot with our journey. T5 is amazing, it’s massive! And full of really cool seating designs. At the other end in Milan, Malpensa airport all was good too, we got transported to the hotel, which had a massive golf course with lots of rich people (until the Brit’s arrived). The two road races were on Friday and Saturday but not until 8:30pm, crap time but the roads could only be closed then, and the organisers wanted a big crowd as there always is in Italy.
On the day of the first race the weather was hot and nice, at 5pm we got transported to the start to get ready to put the timing chips on the bikes and warm-up. But at about 7pm the biggest storm you have ever seen started, the rain was so heavy the road flooded very quickly. For the past few weeks the weather in Italy has been very bad and wet, so the drains could not hold much water. No one new what to do, the time was now 8pm, so I got on my bike ready to warm-up, I had had my energy drinks, gels etc and was buzzing. I moved forward along a sheltered area towards the start, but was met by another rider telling me the race was off. I was just about to say good joke, when the race organiser Vittorio confirmed the race was not going to happen tonight, due to the roads being flooded and it was very dark by now. So it was off the bike and back to the hotel for an early night, we were all very disappointed. This was the first time since the EHC had started 10 years ago that a race had been cancelled.
The following morning the weather started off damp, but soon picked up with more hot sun again so thing were looking good for race 2 in the evening. In the afternoon I was chatting to Radovan who is the president of the EHC, riders had expressed there concern about having a late start because if anything goes wrong there is no adjustment time due to being so dark in the evening. A race being cancelled is a big thing due to the loss of points for that race, and the very big expense of getting to the race anyway. We asked for the race to be put forward by 1-hour minimum in case there were any more problems, but the police refused this request by the organisers.
At 5pm the heavens opened again, exactly like the previous day. But there were 3 and half hours until the race start, so it was not as bad we thought. We were ready to race again and still waiting at the hotel for the transport to the start. One of the phones was ringing, it was one of the committee members, and he told us the race was not going to happen again due to the floods. We could not believe what was going on, but just then the transport arrived, I asked the drivers if the race was back on he looked blank at me (he only spoke Italian). He phoned Vittorio and passed the phone to my mate, he said they would make a decision in 20 minutes so we sat a waited. The phone went again, he said please give me another 10 minutes, the rain had stopped now so we thought there would be no problem now. Rob began to take his bike to bits ready to pack it for the trip home. We had been waiting nearly 2 hours just sitting looking out of the window. The phone went again, the race was off for good this time, we could not believe that 2 races had been cancelled, this will go down in the history books. We were invited down to the race start for the after race food anyway and chat with the other riders about what had happened again. We asked our driver to take us around the course, as we had not even seen it yet. I can see why the race was off, even in the dry that course was very dangerous, it had a few 90 degree turns and a section where the road went down to the width of a car. This would mean the lead group would have to go through in single file, I can guarantee this would not have happened, there would have been a massive crash, wet or dry.