We left our lovely aire and made our way north back to Asturias.
Along the way we passed thru some beautiful countryside that reminded me a lot of home. Not far from the border there’s a reservoir/lake and the water’s so low that cattle are grazing on lands that used to be underwater.
There’s a pullout just before the town of Oseja de Sajambre and it has a trail down to a platform with wonderful views of the deep valley and surrounding mountains.
We left the main road shortly after entering Asturias and headed a few km west to the village of Viego – or Viegu, depending on what signs you look at.
We’d passed a couple of possible parking spots for the race tomorrow before we got to the village but continued on, stopping at a cafe/bar/restaurant for a coffee and to discuss our plan.
We quickly decided to stay where we were rather than continue up to the summit. The cafe served food and good wine – why leave?
We had a nice fairly flat parking space right in front – we did move a bit to allow more customers to park but were assured by the waiter that we could stay overnight. We promised to eat and drink there – he spoke very good english, and is also a cycling fan.
We had some tapas for lunch and got to watch the last bit of the day’s race on the tv inside.
We went for a short walk a bit further up the road – it’s very twisty and quite steep in spots so there’ll be plenty of good places to watch and shoot from.
There are several large dogs that roam around and aren’t on leads. They don’t seem to be aggressive, but Mo and Henry bark at them anyway.
We’ve seen quite a few campervans going up the road, only to come back down again a short while later. A couple of large ones came back to the village and we had fun watching them trying to squish into places to park.
Two boys carried a small soccer net to the square and a bunch of the local kids were playing when some slightly older ones arrived with brooms and started clearing the ground.
They did a very good job in a very short time.
A steady stream of vehicles went up and down the road the next morning, all hoping for a decent place to park.
As the morning progressed our little cafe got busier and busier and it seemed like the whole village gathered along the roadside.
The campervan next to us has a tiny dog we refer to as ‘rat dog’ and their friend that was parked down the road a bit has a fluffy little shi tzu.
We ended up parking the lawn chairs right behind the campervan to take our photos from.
The caravan passed by and I almost missed it – it’s nothing like the one for the Tour.
The first riders appeared just before 2:20, with several QuickStep riders protecting their green jersey holder Jacobsen only four minutes back. It’s so, so good to see Jacobsen doing well again when only about a year ago he was in an induced coma from crash injuries.
About half an hour after the first pass it just started to pour…
One of the local ladies and her family were all wearing white t-shirts with ‘Viegu’ in black – I’m now the proud owner of one and put it on immediately.
The second pass of the race arrived just over an hour after the first – the rain had slacked a bit by then – Bernal and Roglic were alone in the lead by a few seconds.
The group was much more spread out this time taking over 15 minutes to pass us. As soon as they were by we scooted inside the cafe to watch the last hour on one of their two tv’s.
It was a thrilling finish up the dreaded Covadonga with Roglic and Bernal staying out in front and Roglic finally getting away and putting over a minute into everyone else – very dominating and exciting ride!