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Giro di Pez: Sad Goodbyes!
tt620 ROADSIDE St.9: Sunday’s difficult stage in the rain was time for our two Italian roadside photographers to part ways until next time but before they did there was a stage to cover -and what a stage it was! Hills, rain, GC changes and a superb solo break.


It seems that this year the Giro wants us wet. In three stages I chased every day I take a load of rain with a very strange change from sun to rain to sun again. Today was possibly the worst one with a heavy shower in the final. The race today is fully developing in the center Italy from Sansepolcro to the wonderful Firenze. The roads are large but twisty and it’s the typical stage good for the breaks with four climbs not too hard but also not to easy.

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Me and Angelo have still in the eyes and in the mind the great day spent yesterday on the time trial road. The morning starts again on the seaside in Fano, a cappuccino, a nice talk about photography and ready to leave the Adriatic and head to the Appennines. It’s sunny but not exactly warm, it has rained in the night and the morning is chilly. Sansepolcro lays in the mid of the valley, we get there, we find the departure village and we move to the team buses area.

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There’s no way you can close us in the signing area or in the dedicated places for photographers. Both me and Angelo are coming from the roadside and we like to be free to experience the same feeling that the people are feeling for the Giro. We, maybe, can lose some news but definitively we can taste the best of this race.

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Ryder Hesjedal warming up for the stage ahead.

It’s a difficult stage to chase, the route runs along the Appennines and just in the final it will be possible to shortcut for the last climbs. Tomorrow will be office time for both of us and we are thinking how to limit the driving time back to home. I will spot on one of the last climbs and Angelo will probably get to the finish. Never mind, the day is still long and the drive too. We leave the departure village having in mind Nibali’s maglia rosa; no chance to see him coming out of the bus too late for us.

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Alessandro’s partner in crime these last few days, Angelo.

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We still need to work on Alessandro’s Daily Distraction spotting skills.

We start about twenty minutes earlier than the race, roads are already made free for the race and it’s a pleasure drive in this condition. The town of Anghiari is perfectly prepared for the passage and hundreds of people are already waiting on the steep climb. But the more we drive and the more interesting people we meet; the showman, dressed as the ancient Italian poet Dante or groups more or less organized with the only target to pass a great day.

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Kilometers go on and we reach the top of the first climb, La Consuma. Up there it’s quite cold, the weather changed a lot and we can hear the sound of the thunderstorm not too far from us. The race comes and there’s the break as easily imagined. The group is controlled by the Astana team but Nibali’s rosa is covered by the team coat. Just after the race passage the heavy rain starts but is on the descent that become worse and worse.

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Florence is not too far now and I decide to stop on the next climb. Angelo moves on and I feel a bit sad for the fact I won’t meet him before the next Lombardia. And the weather today really seem to be the same we met during last Lombardia edition. So I remain inside the car with the radio at full volume to get updates from the race. Wiggins is given in delay because of a too slow descent from Vallombrosa (second climb), so I decide to move on to the fourth and last hill of the day: Fiesole.

Here the weather gets better and it is even possible see some blue from the sky. But the race is coming and just Belkov from the break has come solo to the last hill of the day. Two riders behind, than a small group, the the maglia rosa one and later on Hesjedal with a few others. Not a good moment for the past winner of the Giro.

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The race has gone and I remain with many kilometers to come back home and with my memories of the day fresh in the mind and heart.

 

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