Having a bit of a drive ahead of us we left the nice little campground fairly early and headed to the town of Gumiel for the start of the second stage of the race. We arrived in good time and parked right in front of where all the team buses will be, then walked around the small town a bit.
It’s a lovely place and is all decorated for the race.
The sign-in and start will be in the main square in front of the big church – another excellent and photogenic location. We found a cafe that was open and had a delicious coffee before returning to the campervan.
While I had a small bite to eat – since I hadn’t had breakfast – all of the team buses began to arrive and park on both sides of the road just below us. We walked around and had a look at all of the bikes as the mechanics did last minute touch-ups on some of them.
We had to leave Mo-mo in the campervan again and she wasn’t pleased but there’s just too many people about to take her with us. Back at the sign-in the photographer passes once again came in handy – we got to go inside the barriers and mill about wherever we wanted to get our photos from.
The riders are all so good about posing for photo with kids or stopping for interviews with tv crews – really nice to see.
Once again they had the boring ribbon cutting ceremony – I wasn’t the only one bored either before the roll-out happened.
Team Ineos (formerly team Sky) being the divas that they are were the last to sign in and consequently at the very back of the roll-out. In my opinion that’s where they deserve to be in all instances.
Once the riders had all left we went back to the campervan and drove north to another lovely town, Lerma, for the finish of today’s stage. Since we had a bit of time we walked up to the finish line and had a look around, stopping at a nice little cafe for a late lunch.
We both ordered a different kind of pizza – mine had goat’s cheese, smoked apples and bacon – a delicious combination. The waitress kindly wrapped my leftovers for me as I couldn’t eat the whole thing.
We walked back to the campervan, which was parked in the shade for Mo, left her there and went back up to chose our photo spots. Colin opted for a place partway up the finishing hill, while I went right to the top. As usual the press-pass was very handy – I got to cross the barriers and get in just below the stand that had the jumbo-tron on it showing the race. It was sunny out and starting to get very hot – I didn’t want anyone getting in just below me and blocking my shots so I parked my backpack in the way and took shade from time to time behind a bus.
The stage was won by a rider from one of the smallish Spanish teams so the crowd was very pleased. He was followed very closely by the DD guy that won yesterday’s stage so he’s managed to maintain his overall lead.
Once the main group had finished I walked towards where the podium presentations would be but decided not to stay – I was very hot and tired. But I did get to see a group of folks that must have been doing a dress-rehersal or something come out of one of the beautiful large buildings on the square.
I headed back down to the campervan and we left fairly swiftly, having a bit of a drive north to catch the end of tomorrow’s stage near the town of Espinosa de los Monteros. We located a nice little free campervan place just outside the town – a nice, but rather long day.