HAT Sanremo Sestriere 2021, one of the most anticipated adventure events, this year we made it and finished it, without sacrificing comfort.
Unfortunately the2020 edition it was mutilated by a breakdown of the writer's bike. But our loyal friends and readers did not want to give up the fun and re-presented themselves at the start of the most classic of Italian adventures. Here is the story of Giacomo Depaoli.
Meeting in Masone with an adventure companion and very calmly we arrive in Sanremo enjoying the state road overlooking the sea so as not to excessively compromise the knobby tires that are not comfortable on the motorway.
In Sanremo the organization is as impeccable as ever, with hundreds of bikes ordered in the square and many stands dedicated to adventuring. Waiting for the bikes to be rubberized in the stand Event we go around the stands of Enduristan, Garmin, Klim, and let's get one of @amanetta's always nice shirts.
We go to complete the registration and we are given the number, 246, we are among the last, and I start to get upset because my strategic plan risks jumping miserably. The third adventurer joins us and we attend the briefing dedicated to us (CLASSIC) without particular indications on the track: the Classic route includes over 500 km of off-road and asphalt with departures from 10.00. Quiet evening, dinner overlooking the sea and early in the cot.
On the morning of departure we go to fill up (we always recommend leaving full of petrol because it is not obvious to find filling stations in time of need) and we deliver the bags with the changes that will be transported to us upon arrival in Sestriere.
At 11.30 our adventure begins! Asphalted sections alternate with off-road of medium difficulty suitable for maxi enduro over 200 kg, very scenic and never banal routes, you must always be careful because the danger in off-road is always around every bend.
Particular attention must be paid in the dusty parts where the visibility is almost zeroed by the bikes that precede, a stressful situation that can put even the most experienced bikers in crisis, but luckily we went great without any problem. We cross the Liguria with its panoramic views and its "broken" and slow paths, perhaps the most technical of the event, deciding to skip some refreshments in villages clinging to the mountains to stay late for the Boves stage.
We proceed regularly and it often happens to be overtaken and to overtake other groups, an operation always carried out with the utmost attention, even if not everyone does it cautiously, forgetting that the HAT is not a race ...
The arrival in Boves is that of great occasions: the whole square for us, the excitement from the engines is palpable and the tiredness begins to be felt, it is around 19.30 we are in perfect time. After a short hour we set off again, the sun has set and the headlights come on.
After a lot of km on asphalt we arrive back "off-road", and after an hour of night driving (highly recommended experience and not too complicated to manage), we arrive very tired in Melle, where a hotel room awaits us. We manage to take a shower and sleep for about 5 hours.
At 5,30 we sneak furiously from the hotel without making too much noise. The Garmin Montana 750ì guides us with extreme precision on a challenging mountain path, especially downhill. The gravelly bottom is decidedly unstable and the lessons taken in the many Enduro and Maxi Enduro courses were the best choice to proceed safely and at a constant speed.
The sun is rising, the mountains are colored: the spectacle is unparalleled. Many dirt roads alternate with long and fun stretches on asphalt, to relax your legs a little after almost 400 km of travel. We arrive in the quarry, all to ourselves, with a breathtaking view and the speeds that increase throughout safety.
We continue for a few more hours arriving on the splendid mountains that surround Sestriere. Here the mythic starts Strada dell'Assietta, the super panoramic off-road route but very slow due to traffic (motorcycles, cars, bicycles…).
At 13:30 on Sunday we arrive about 20 km from the arrival, very early and we decide to stop in a shelter to eat. More than a frugal lunch it was a wedding banquet, which then negatively affected the athletic performance of the last kilometers. And with a full stomach and a smile on our lips we arrive at Sestriere around 16,30 pm.
Satisfied and tired we started chatting with the other participants, all happy with the undertaking, even if many complained about the too much asphalt traveled. Personally I believe that it cannot be done otherwise, both to connect the various off-roads and to allow us amateur enduro riders to rest. Someone has told about heroic deeds on the classic course, with two hours of rest, but we have proved the opposite: it is feasible even without sacrificing comfort.
I can assure you that it is a very intense experience, which I recommend to all lovers of maxi enduro and off-road in general. The advice I would like to give to those who want to participate in the next editions, is to rest assured: if you are scared to drive at night in an off-road vehicle you can organize yourself and rest at night. On the contrary, never underestimate the HAT because it is not a walk to drive one motorcycles of over 200kg for so many hours, especially off-road. If you have no experience, first take a good course to acquire the basics and technique of off-road driving.
by Giacomo Depaoli