Got organized fairly quickly – gave the fridge in the campervan a little wipedown, packed our stuff up and were off. We put our destination into the GPS but didn’t like the route she chose for us so ended up just following the map.
The first stage we’re going to starts in Foligno and follows the same road part of the way that we went on last year to see the Giro. We chose to follow the entire stage route rather than taking the faster roads to our destination of Monteguiduccio.
The whole way was beautiful – once through the mountains it was rolling hills, bright green fields, orchards and vineyards. Small, winding roads connected little villages on the top of almost every hill, and the route seemed to go thru as many of them as possible. As usual they were still doing road repairs in some places – nothing like leaving it until the last moment – at least the local villagers will be happy.
At one point I got quite excited saying ‘oh look – there’s a deer!’ in the woods to the right – then we realized that it was a deer farm as there were dozens of them eating from a bunch of hay bales. We drove a bit further than needed so we could scout out the best spot, then backtracked to a nice wide flat place on the side of the road to camp for the night.
The next morning was bright and sunny, getting warm already by 9:00. After a cup of tea and a bite to eat we drove a bit further up the road to a nice field we thought would be good to park in.
We got the flags all up, setup the table and chairs, and prepared to wait for the race.
We’d been sitting reading for awhile when I noticed a movement out of the corner of my eye – there was a small brown animal trotting happily towards us. I thought at first it might be a dog coming from the house on the hill above us, but upon closer look I realized it wasn’t a dog at all – it was a wild boar!
It took me a moment to realize that it was just a little one – not a giant male about to attack. By then I’d let out a noise and made a movement that startled the small animal, causing it to stop and retreat into the nearby hedges – my camera, for once, wasn’t within reach so I didn’t get a photo. I waited and waited but the boar didn’t show his snout again – shy little guy.
A couple of hours later a red car pulled in beside us – we wondered if it was the local landowner come to chase us away, but he didn’t. What he wanted was for us to email him some of the photos we were going to take of the race, and in return he presented us with a 5 litre can of extra virgin olive oil – grown from his trees ‘just over the hill’ from where we were!
The racers arrived right around 3:20 with both Dumoulin and Yates in the first small group. We’d picked our spot carefully – on a fairly steep hill just after a very narrow, winding part. As we were the only ones on that part of the road we ended up cleaning up on the bottles – got seven in all without even trying. It was great with no kids to compete against!
Peter Sagan had a stomach virus for five days prior to the start of the race so isn’t a contender overall – we’re just glad he was there and hadn’t given up and gone home.
After the last racer passed we took our time getting the flags down, etc, and ended up going through the finishing town of Fossombrone on our way to our stop for the night in the town of Corinaldo. We made our way to a camperstop that was totally basic but free (!) – we had electrical hookup, as well as water dump and fill.