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Giro 08
Giro di PEZ: The TT Corsa Up Close!
PEZ-Man Alessandro Federico is at it again – he convinced his wife to go for a ‘drive’, the kind that is less of a drive and more of a preview of the time trial course for Stage 10. But here’s more than just a look at the roads, so sit back and enjoy this bellissima preview from Signor Federico.

Rossini and Raffaello were two very famous artists, and well known around the world. Rossini was a musician and composed many immortal operas. The most famous one is “Il barbiere di Siviglia” (the Barber of Seville) with the well know “Bravo bravissimo” motive. Raffaello was a painter; when you stay in front of one of his portraits you feel that the lady is going to come out of the frame. To understand his popularity is enough to know that he was nominated by the Pope as the main architect for the completion of San Pietro church in Rome.

Rossini born in Pesaro. Raffaello born in Urbino.

The stage starts out flat, then climbs across rolling hills to the finish.

Stage 10 – 34,900 meters from Pesaro to Urbino – the first race of GC truth.

Today, during my reconnaissance of the TT route for Tuesday I understood where they both got their inspiring strength. The countryside around these two cities is something magical and cannot be a case that two so famous and important artists were born (in different periods) so near to here.

It’s a day out of the Giro for me; while the race rolls in Civitavecchia I’m at home, recalling yesterday’s adventure and planning the next one. I said ‘No plans’, but I have to force myself to distract from the Giro. After a “shampoo” from my wife who has discovered my daily distraction pics, I try to be kind and reliable for all the morning. I know how much she hates my cycling passion and she’s still to digest my appointment with Pez for the incoming week.

Stage 10 – 34,900 meters from Pesaro to Urbino – the first race of GC truth.

“Why don’t we go around to the countryside?” I hazard. (The country will be that one between Pesaro and Urbino as I live only a few kilometres away. Why specify that the priority is to give a look to the route?)

It’s Sunday and all the fish boats are moored inside the small harbour near the PEZ Italian HQ. The soccer tifosi are inside the bars for two important matches today. I’m not interested to this challenge, but I just think I will find no cars on the roads.

Nobody’s laughing about tomorrow’s TT.

Pesaro is on the sea and is preparing to the incoming summer season. Urbino is located on a hill, at 400 m. A 40 km valley separates them with two big roads. Half of the TT route takes place on these streets. Large, long and windy.

The first 20 km are for TT specialists. Many industrial towns are crossed by the race and there are some bends but always very smooth. Once in Morciola, the story changes completely and a dangerous bend on the right introduces a 4 km climb.

Things get steep right about here.

Some passages are difficult and narrow. But this climb is very irregular. I imagine it will fit very well for a rider as Contador. A turn on the left gives a very nice view on Pesaro and the Adriatic, the roads becomes again narrow and flows through the small village of Colbordolo. We stop.

The center of Colbordolo.

This is the classic Italian village “centro”, made of bricks and paved with large stones. There are few people at the local bar but they are very busy with a “briscola” game. I ask about the Giro. Few words. I ask about the soccer. Almost no reply.

A few steps down, near the road there are two old women. They sit with the chairs out of the door, closed to the narrow road. This is very common to see in the Italian villages, especially during summer time. I try with them.

Pina (r) and Dina already have their seats saved.

Their names are Pina and Dina, very old fashion names, so suitable for the circumstance. When I introduce myself Pina asks for what kind of newspaper I work. I don’t know what to say. Looks to me too complicated to start explain about the internet, the Canadians and the others. I just try to overcome the answer starting talk about the Giro. They are very well informed. They know that the road will be closed for all the afternoon and they know that the leader will wear the rosa jersey (but they ignore who’s the leader).

“I remain to the time of Coppi” Dina excuses. Pina adds that “It will be very dangerous to cross the road and the dogs must be kept inside the houses”. I’m surprised by this list of safety information. They explain that the town mayor wrote to everybody a letter with all the instruction for the day. I think they’ve read this letter hundreds of times.

“Will you see the race?” I ask naпvely. “We already prepare our chairs!”
Then Pina, quite worried asks: “Are we too close to the road?”
But Dina “But this climb is steep, they’ll be not so fast!”

Me and my wife leave Colbordolo laughing. Then she says we will be the same at that age, if so lucky to reach it. Again we laugh. Then we stop and we have a long moment of silence. Then she turns to the valley below and I think this has been one of the most beautiful things she can say.

In spite of her dislike for ciclismo, it was here Ale received some great news from his wife about their future.

The climb is finished, we descend and in front of us opens a wide scene with the village of Montefrabbri, surrounded by the walls. Kilometres by kilometres the countryside is over and over gorgeous. Rossini and Raffaello should know this road.

From the top of the climb to Urbino city there’s not one meter of flat. Up and down, left and right. No reference point. Who will win has to make the difference here. Once in Urbino the route goes around the city walls to arrive in the Borgo Mercatale. This is the most famous place of the city with its towers and entrances. Through one of these entrances the road will penetrate in the old town, then five hundred metres more. A steep climb in pave. A corner, a narrow road and the finish line in the large Piazza Rinascimento.

While we arrive there a group of young people singing and exulting. The Inter is the new Italian soccer champion team.

Stay tuned for all the roadside action for tomorrow and the rest of this Giro!

Ciao a domani –


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