Race day dawned a bit cloudy, but not too bad – if it rains it shouldn’t be as bad as some of the days have been. We had been joined overnight by several more campervans, all lined up in a row below us. When I took Mo for a little walk I happened to see Floriana – she was super happy to see me, and assured me she was ok – they have two other restaurants and are doing alright.
And as the morning progressed the parking lot got more and more full – all directed by the old fellow from last night. He had hundreds of cars crammed in like sardines – no one better be in a hurry to leave!
We ventured down around 10:30 to have a cappuccino and walk around to see what was going on – one highlight was when the police lamborghini pulled in – lots of folks crowding around and taking selfies in front of it, and a couple of lucky young kids being put inside and pretending to drive it.
We chatted for a bit with an older cyclist that had just finished the climb on an electric bike – it was a very nice one and you couldn’t really tell it was electric unless you knew. He was 81 years old and was from Whistler! We went back to the campervan for lunch, then back to the road around 2:30, not wanting to miss anything. We found a great spot about 25 meters from the top of the climb – we got some help climbing over the rather flimsy barrier and squished next to a rock wall with cedar hedges on top. But it was great because no one could get in front of us and we could see down the hill a bit too.
First of all the cavalcade came through – zipped by as usual and I did get a nice black bag out of it – no little stuffed wolf, though, which is what I really want.
As I was taking some test shots making sure the flash was synced a female amateur rider came up – she thought it was pretty cool that I was taking her photo.
Then a little boy rode up – he got such resounding cheers and applause that he turned around at the top, rode down a bit and came up again to the same accolades – perhaps the next Nibali in the making.
At 3:42 the bells in the church tower across the road started ringing – the riders had been spotted on one of the switchbacks below.
Three minutes later the first racers appeared – a breakaway of two about seven minutes ahead of the peloton.
Several of the teams had guys handing off bottles and bars to the riders, but luckily (for them) none of them impeded my shots.
By 4:09 the last rider had passed and folks started to throng the roads trying to get away. We went back to the campervan and took our time leaving – there’s only the one road to and from Ghisallo and it was going to be bumper to bumper so we weren’t in a hurry.
By the time we left the traffic had died down and we had clear sailing south to Lecco, then up the east side of the lake to the small town of Domaso just around the north end and back down the west side a few miles.
We had chosen a campground to head to but couldn’t find it, although it didn’t matter. There were several in a row all along the lakeshore so we just picked one and settled in – it’s owned by a couple of little old german ladies who run it like generals – friendly, but authorative. We didn’t feel like cooking so went out for dinner, walking down the main street to a likely looking restaurant.
It was just lovely – a delicious meal with no cooking or dishwashing involved (at least for us). Colin got the lasagna and I chose pasta with smoked salmon in a cream sauce – it was excellent. As usual over here Mo was welcome and all the waiters and waitresses made a fuss over her – she’s such a little flirt, and always knows who brings the food.