We got up and were out of the apartment by about 8:15 to get to the climb we wanted to park it on for the ITT, but plans didn’t work out quite as expected. Many more roads were now blocked in Innsbruck as the junior men were practicing on what will be their road race course tomorrow.
As a result we were blocked at almost every turn and then backtracked quite a ways – we eventually got onto the motorway to bypass the city so we could get to the east. We turned north at Hall-in-Tirol and up to Absam where we stopped at the same supermarket as yesterday, then continued on to Gnandenwald and drove down the hill all the way into Fritzens, which will be the start of the climb.
We turned around and drove a little way back and pulled over to a nice wide spot we’d seen on the way down. We setup the table and chairs, then got the flags up – maple leaf in spot of honour on top of one – although it wasn’t very breezy so they didn’t furl out as nicely as they usually do. Two men walking up past us jokingly asked why so many flags? couldn’t we decide? We responded about Colin being British and living in France, me being Cdn, Italy and Spain for the other two Grand Tours, both of us liking the Netherlands, and the Celtic countries because it’s so interesting. They liked that answer, then asked who our favourite for today’s race was and I piped up that I liked Domoulin – they loved that answer as they told us they were Dutch.
We then settled in to wait a few hours for the first racer to come by – had a bite to eat and took a walk or two up and down the road to check out the other fans. By the time the race started our side of the road was one long un-ending line of cars all the way down to Fritzens. The day had started out beautiful but very cold – almost zero overnight again, but slowly warmed up to the point that I was able to change into my rah-rah skirt.
The arrival of the first racer was telegraphed as usual by motos and the helicopter. There was only one Cdn in this race – the other must have pulled out for some reason.
The final rider to pass was last year’s winner Tom Domoulin, although he was not the favourite to win again this year – we found out later that Australian Rohain Dennis won, and by quite a handy margin too.
The wind finally picked up a bit shortly before we took the flags down, packed up and left.
As we drove down thru the town of Fritzens we encountered hundreds of people all over the roads and crowding the sidewalks – there were beergardens open and folks were indulging.
Oh – we also found out that yesterday’s women’s ITT was won by the favourite from the Netherlands, one of the Cdns missed the podium by only 2 seconds, and the other Cdn came 8th – not bad! The goats on the hillside on the way home weren’t impressed, however.