Fantastic Finale to La Vuelta – ITT into Santiago

As usual on a race day cars and campervans went up and down looking for spots to park.  Also as usual many amateur riders took their crack at the course.  And fans walked and rode up and down as well.

Since it was the ITT many of the racers did a re-con ride, either alone or with others of their team.

Around noon a few vehicles pulled into the parking area of a building just up the road from us and proceeded to setup a large canopy.  They then put up some very large speakers – uh oh.  Not long after that the music started – just blasting away the peace and quiet we had enjoyed until then.

After a couple of hours I couldn’t stand it anymore so took a stroll up to have a word with them.  I asked when they were going to stop and and was told it would go on all day!  I cried out ‘no!’ and they just looked at me like I was crazy.  I finally begged them to at least turn the speaker around so it was facing them and not us, and to please turn it down a bit.  They did turn the speaker around, but the lowered volume only lasted a minute or two.

The start today is much later than usual, so that the last rider would arrive in Santiago di Compostella near sunset.

I did take a walk to the corner just below us – it’s a very sharp corner with quite a steep gradient.

There are, of course, quite a few people gathered, including not one, but two bagpipe players, a bongo drummer and a guy with a horn – literally a horn.  In addition there’s the lady in the jester’s costume that had walked past us earlier with the cute baby.

The caravan – small as it is in the Vuelta – arrived at 3:48.  We did score a couple of hats – I gave one to the little fellow next to us – as well as several key rings and a bag of olives.

The first rider came by us at almost 5:20, followed by points winner Fabio Jakobsen (I’ve been spelling his name incorrectly previously).  Even though he will win the green jersey he’s in second to last place overall, thus the second to start the ITT which goes in reverse order.

The folks up the road with the blaring music do look like they’re enjoying themselves, but we just couldn’t take any more so relocated down to the corner where the atmosphere was so much more fun for us.

One of the bagpipers was now dressed – we think – as a wolf, although wookie also came to mind.

The other bagpiper and the guy with the horn were in skeleton outfits.

There was also a superman.

As we were taking photos of the riders and the cars, folks in some of the cars and on the motos were also taking pics of us.

Even though it’s the final stage and as long as they all stay on their bikes the overall results are not likely to change much, no-one seems to be slacking in their efforts.

In the end Jack Haig hung in for third overall…

…Mas for second, and getting a very well deserved win – both the stage and the overall, Primos Roglic.

We waited for a short while before deciding what to do about leaving – we asked our neighbours in the other campervan if they were leaving or staying the night and their opinion was the very same as ours…if the folks with the horrible loud music were staying, then we were leaving – if they left, then we were going to stay.

Luckily for all of us the party people started to take down their equipment and in very quick time were out of there – blessed peace!!

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