Yamaha rider Ben Spies spent last week in Italy riding his bicycle around the Emilia Romagna region and taking part in the 13th annual Gran Fondo race in the Republic of San Marino. Spies is so passionate about cycling that he already has a USAC category 2 license and in 2011 founded the Elbowz Racing an elite bicycle racing team that also debuted the same year to take part in numerous events.

The Texas Terror and part of his Elbowz team (the other half was in Dallas for the Matrix Challenge) rode the popular 154 km mixed weather race that included a 8,530 ft climb with 2000 starters in his category. Spies finished second in his category and 14th overall after completing the race in 4 hours, 26 minutes, 58 seconds. We need to see Spies and Troy Bayliss – another passionate cyclist who as also taken part in various bike races in Italy – pitted against each other as we never saw them race against each other in World Superbikes.