On to Italy…and Finally a Race!

The last couple of weeks in Mansle were great – we had several more nice meals out, including a couple of lunches at the ‘Nuthouse’ as well as one at the Marmite, that surprisingly I’d never been to before.

We also had two nice visits with Tony and Joyce.

Colin went out for a couple of bike rides, but I didn’t as my bike was left back in Spain so I stayed at the house with the dogs.  Mo was happy to be with me but, as usual, Henry did a lot of barking and looking for Colin.

There was more than one storm with pounding rain accompanied by thunder and lightening, but the dry fields needed the rain so it wasn’t too bad.  We visited a printing place across the street and she’s going to make a sign to put on the road below the house in Spain so folks can find us more easily.

We left for Italy on a Sunday, making it to Lachamp-Raphael on the first day.  As usual it was extremely windy, but at least I wasn’t in my tent this time.

The second day we went thru Embrun, then Briancon – the lake at Embrun is very low.

Crossing to Italy we passed Sestriere on our way to Pinerolo – I’ve never been thru that way before so I did enjoy the drive.  One of the big alpine ski races happens there very year and I’ve always wanted to see the area.

We spent the next day in nearby Cavour, checking in at the fruit farm, which is in the middle of the apple harvest – hundreds of crates are stacked in the garage and I’m sure the ladies are busy making jams, etc.

It was market day in the town and we had a very nice cappuccino in the main square, then returned later for dinner at La Posta – just as good as the first time we were here a couple of years ago.  This time I opted for an apple and celery salad for a starter, then a barley and rabbit stew for my main – just delicious.

Back at the fruit farm they have a new dog – a mid-size black female that seems a bit shy, but friendly.  They still have the large golden lab as well as tiny Maya and her little one Spreet – they remember me!

We’re always a bit sad to leave the area, but didn’t have too far to drive to our next place just the far side of Torino.  We’ve chosen the largest climb of the Gran Piemonte as our watching place and found a nice large flat area right near the top and just around the bend from the village of Rivodora – as usual we ‘lucked out’ finding a spot.

Finally a race!

The first racers arrived right on time at 3:00…

…with the last group passing about five minutes later.  Included in one of the final small groups was Cavendish – I sure hope he signs with a great team for next year.

We watched the end of the race on GCN on my ipad, then headed north to the Ghisallo, fighting traffic around Milano and arriving in the dark.  The restaurant parking lot that we’d used the last time was blocked-off so we spent the night in the parking area of the cycling museum and church.  The Belgian couple we’ve met in previous years were already there so we figured it would be ok.

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