Race day dawned sunny and beautiful, but not too hot. The stage today involves three ‘climbing circuits’ followed by a couple of flat circuits on the plain below us. We’re near the top of the climb, with the first pass expected sometime after one.
Since we had lots of time I took a couple of walks, and found some interesting things.
There are dozens of abbeys, parishes and churches in this area, and apparently you can walk between most of them – there’s a map just outside this church.
There’s also yet another small shrine on the road just behind us.
As usual on a race day dozens of amateurs do the ride, and as time passed our quiet parking area became jammed packed.
A large tour bus had parked behind us the night before, and was part of a tour group that provided lunch for certain amateurs and fans.
The little water tap near us was well used, with many folks filling up their bidons or just dunking their heads under it.
The folks from the tour bus next to us needed to borrow a lighter to get their cook stove going, and later on they needed to borrow a wine bottle opener.
The first pass of the racers arrived at 1:25 with a breakaway of four…
…with the peloton arriving en masse about three minutes later.
Almost fourty minutes later the break was down to two riders now with a two minute advantage. I had moved a bit down the road as all of the team’s helpers were now with us to hand out bidons. As luck had it one if the riders hucked their empty bottle out right in front of me – Quickstep! – to add to my collection.
For the last pass I moved even further down the road where I finally got a good shot of Nibali but have yet to spot Cavendish.
Back at the campervan our kindness in lending the lighter and corkscrew paid off pretty well – we were gifted with three bottles of wine, three kinds of cold meats and two kinds of lovely cheese – not bad!
We were ready to take off for our next destination in no time, said goodbye to the tour bus fellows and were on our way. We headed south and stopped at a nice wide place just past the town of Canneto.