Olympic and double World Champion Paolo Bettini is not only known for his fierce racing – the small Italian all-rounder also has a unique sense of humour similar to the one of his compatriot actor of the same name. This winter, Bettini will for the first time organise his own competition, but one of a very special kind. Along the lines of the 'Olimpiadi', the Olympic Games in Italian, the 33 year-old incidentally born on April 1 will host the 'Bettiniadi' in his home town of Bibbona.
On Sunday, December 2, two teams will gather on the sports field La California-Bibbona: one composed of riders that helped Bettini win the 2007 Worlds in Stuttgart, amongst which Damiano Cunego, Pippo Pozzato, Matteo Tosatto, Andrea Tonti, Marzio Bruseghin, Alessandro Ballan and Giovanni Visconti; and another including some of the most important cycling journalists that have been following the career of 'Il Grillo' for many seasons.
The disciplines leading to overall individual as well as team rankings have nevertheless not much in common with the bike. Competition will start at 2.30pm with a sack race, followed by 'flag stealing', an obstacle chase, some combat for the stronger men and a 4 x 100 m relay race, of which details are yet to be provided. Last but not least, the event will be crowned by a throwing competition of... mobile phones!
On top of surely providing a whole day of great fun, the 'Bettiniadi' will also raise money for various charities and expose some of the region's typical food and wine.