Cykelnerven Day 0 – Milan to Briançon

Note: On June 4-9, I participated in Cykelnerven, a cycling event that benefits the Multiple Sclerosis International Foundation (MSIF). We took on some of the toughest climbs to be used in this year’s Tour de France.


I stayed at the DoubleTree by Hilton Milan Malpensa Solbiate Olana hotel. In 2014 when I went to Italy with Trek Travel I stayed in center city next to the cathedral and saw a little of Milan then. This trip was travel and rest. Must have rest so I stayed near the airport.

Doubletree Hotel Milan Airport – Courtyard

I needed to get up to speed quickly on the time changes. I had a four-hour difference yesterday in Iceland and now lost two hours more. I went to sleep shortly after midnight and woke up after 8:00. Looks like eight hours but was just 6:08 of sleep. Not enough. My recovery as measured by my Whoop Band was 8%.

Breakfast at Milan Doubletree

I went to breakfast at 9:00 a.m. Checkout was noon so I stayed in my room until noon then checked out. I waited in the cool air in the courtyard until 2:00 p.m. and caught a shuttle to the airport.

Breakfast at Milan Doubletree

A guy (tourist) came over to me and asked what was in the case. I told him a cello. He looked surprised and said that’s cool. He said he was seeing more people with those cases in airports. I told him music was growing in popularity.

Was that wrong? (I did confess that there was a bicycle in there.)

Shuttle to the airport

At the airport, Door 7, I walked in and saw a restaurant or cafe (Pret) with two guys sitting there and cello cases at their feet. It was Andy (U.K.) and Toni (U.S.).

Conor and Barry

Conor and Barry would join us around 3:20 p.m. Someone came in the door around 3:30 p.m. and said our bus was waiting. We gathered our belongings and headed out past the bus pickup to a small parking lot. There were two glorified vans, neither with room for luggage that included bike cases.

The driver put the larger bulky hard cases in then took my soft case on end – on the fork end. Nooo! The bike nor the case is built to withstand that. I hoped that it would survive.

Montgenevre, France

The drive was three hours to Briançon. Most of it was highway or freeway but we had to cross a mountain road to the border of France and down to Briançon.

Montgenevre, France

We stayed at the Hotel Sowell Parc Briançon Hotel. We were greeted by staff, put the bikes in a small bike room, and then had a team meeting followed by dinner.

Coach Bo, from Denmark

Dinner was a buffet. I sat with Toni, Marc (Switzerland), and Roelof (Netherlands)


Most tried to build their bikes before dinner. It was too crowded in the room and I waited until after dinner.


When I went to build my bike I found the front fork had been broken off its mount. I was worried about the build and could not get the front wheel to sit properly. Once built I was nervous about the bike for tomorrow more than me.

Parc hotel

Lodging was double and my first room was two beds in one. Or one bed in two. This week is gonna suck.

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