Vuelta a Burgos Stage 3 – Foggy Finish

Having had a not great sleep I didn’t get up until almost 8:30. After a quick cup of tea I proposed that we head up to the mountain top finish asap – we could always come back down if we wanted, but waiting too long and being turned back would be a big downer.
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We managed to find the road to the mountain by following the race book we’d been given – it certainly wasn’t well marked with signs or anything. We ended up behind an suv taking a generator up, and were followed by another official vehicle.

From time to time we passed a parked campervan on the side of the road, and at one point on the narrow, twisting road we encountered two other large vehicles coming down towards us. The guy in front of us with the generator wasn’t pleased – we couldn’t pass each other and it was kind of a stand-off – we won. The generator guy waved his arm for the other campervans to back up and move to the right and we waited a couple of minutes before they gave in and did so.
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The guy behind us got out of his vehicle and directed generator guy through, then did the same for us, including folding in everyone’s side mirrors so they wouldn’t hit each other. Colin cleared the second large campervan with just inches to spare.

After that it was clear sailing to the top of the mountain. Having the magic ‘press’ stickers on the window was again very helpful – we got to park right behind where the team vehicles are going to be as they arrive.
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We wanted to see what actual finish area was like so walked up the road to the small area at the very top of the mountain. We think it must have been a military installation of some sort long ago but is now abandoned.
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The views of the area are at times great, but it depends where the fog has moved to.
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As we headed back down to the campervan we were greated by a strange sight – a row of young fellows stretched out and resting on the edge of the road, just like a bunch of lizards sunning themselves.
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Back at the campervan we got out the table and chairs to read in the sun – had a bit of lunch and watched the fog roll around. Many cars have been coming down the hill to park behind us, and many people are walking up and down.
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The race volunteers seem to have it fairly well organized – they’ve put orange cones all down the road with space on the right for the team cars to pull into as they arrive behind their racers. There’s no room for the team buses so the racers will either have to ride back down the 8km to the town, or get a ride in one of their cars.

At about 3:30 we started back up to the finish line to choose our spots. We ended up just a few feet past the line, right next to the video referee’s truck, and within sight of one of the jumbo-trons showing the race.
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As the race approached the fog got thicker – at times I could barely see across the road. We knew exactly where the race was at and how far they had to go, but even then I could barely make out the first racer as he rounded the corner just below us.
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Three minutes after the day’s winner had passed in the fog, it lifted and was almost clear for the last few racers.
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By the time we were halfway back to the campervan to get ready to leave the fog had closed in again. All of the team cars had pulled in ahead of us awaiting their racers.
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It really didn’t take long before we were allowed to leave – we just pulled in after the team cars and getting down the mountain didn’t take nearly as long as we’d expected.

We decided to go back to the campground we’d been in before near Cavia, and Miss GPS took us on the ‘scenic route’ but we eventually made it. We stopped at the Lidl’s just south of Burgos but it had closed early – festival day or something, we think.

The young lady in the campground restaurant was glad to see us – we headed straight there after hooking up the electrics. Had a glass of wine, then another very nice dinner with more wine. This place is great – the wine today was free! Or at least they didn’t bother charging us – either way it made up for the very slow service. They were rather busy so it wasn’t the waitresses fault – they’re all quite nice to us.

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