This stage started with a spectacular fly over of teh peloton from Italy’s world renowned acrobatic air patrol which moved onto the first climb of the day and on till the finish in a ski resort called Piancavallo where Pantani won the stage back in 1998. I was lucky enough to be there when Marco fropped the bandana and went on a sort of flight to the finish line. There were some country man of his who cheered so lous I had the mpression of being inside a soccer arena. This Sunday the temperature was really winter 9° and snow all around it, however the crowed was remarkable at the finish line. Theriders had another tremendous stage fought to the top as the last week of the giro was opening up in front of them. Although the chilly temperature the cheering to the riders was guaranteed and the warm atmosphere of the giro was surrounding each rider coming to the top of the mountain.
- Despite tue threat of covid the Giro was held a bit late in the season and all 21 stages had been accomplished including the TT in the world Heritage site of the Prosecco hills. The day was nice and quite many peole bordered the road all wearing mask as needed precaution to fight off this pandemic.The riders gave thir best also as they wanted to gain some position on the G.C.and the specialists showed their talent. The pictures are just related to the athletes that passed by, however I hope that you all managed to see the pictures from the helicopter. I cycle in and aroud this beatiful area and hope some of you will join me once the covid will enable all of us to travel like before.
A beautifuland sunny day was welcoming the Giro for the queen stage that lukily was on the doorstep for me and I enjoyed it very much. For the first ever time I was at the start and it was amazing to see how many peole work behind the scenes to make each stage extraordinary.
Seeing all the riders going to sign the departure chart makes you be part of it as they just pass so close that you can pad them on the shoulders and can talk to them. I was close to some fans of Carapz who went mad as he slowly rode by on the tiny corridor to sign his presence on the stage.
Once the start was given all the fans took a long walk towards the last few kilometrs to the finish placed on a mountain facing Feltre. Half of Slovenia which neihbours Italy was on the last climb and many flags were flying. I had the chance of seeing people from various countries and stop with them for a chat. This is the Giro a huge open air show were cyclists and common peole meet to share the same passion and get to know each other even for some hours only. This is what excites me about the Giro and being a cyclist. These events near people very much and hope they will do for years to come. Enjoy the pictures below.
This stage was bringing the cyclists through Unesco heritage areas like the Prosecco wine hills and the Dolomites San Martino di Castrozza and in between paying tribute to the soldiers that fought in the frist Wolrd War by cycling through a road built by them to bring the ammounition and food to the front line. This climb San Boldo is amongst the beloved from the cyclists living in this area including myself. Cycling along the haiprins and the tunnels escavated in the rocks makes you feel content when you reach the top.
This stage could have shaken the general classification on paper but unfortunately for the audience that was expecting to see some action everything was quiet and all last attempts to push Carapz away from the podium was pushed to the next stage.
This stage is really amazing to ride at your own pace as the view and is just paying off the sweat and fatigue.
The Veneto region was blessed with three stages of the Giro this year concentrated a great euphoria for the many passionate cyclists leaving in this area.
The peloton in a long line flow down to the plane from the Dolomites like a river reaching the sea and the finish was not that far.
An easy ride sort of rest for the athletes thinking about the next mountain stages which were certainly not delicate. I was lucky enough to see all of them as I live in this area and as a passionate cyclist I had thre wonderful days.
Luckily another stage took place in my area so the day after Zoncolan I moved about the race field with a scooter so I could see the riders on more spots and see how they were tackling the day. The general classification needed to be kept under control so the first 10 riders were all together letting some brack aways to take some minutes knowing that they would have all been reeled in as it got tougher along the way.
The top riders were all together till the pink jersey got away on the last climb to finish solo in Sappada and the small groups I saw of the penultimum climb burst on the descent and on the last short but tough climb. I guess that these two stages were pretty hard for some and the recovery was difficult. Some of them probably thought that the cook they came across along the way had some pasta in the pot that he was using as drum instead.
Villages were themely festooned to welcome the riders and the cyclists that were cycling through short before the race was nearing. It is another sign of joy, feast and welcome that I hope everyone coming to Italy for the Giro will look and save as a good souvenir.
Another beatiful thing of this stage was again the crowd, the people I met from Belgium officially following a team as fans and helper because they were handing out bottles to the riders and they toured Italy giving me tale of places they would like to come back privately to visit. Many cycling enthusiasts come to the Giro to kill two birds with only one stone as they visit the country and cycle at the same time.
It has been another great day on Monte Zoncolan today with the riders giving their best as usual cheered by a fantastic crowd that filled every inch along the road leading up to the finish line. The day was long for me as the stage is 150 km away but could not miss it as on that climb anything can happen and you read the suffering on the riders’ face.
Walking up that mountain I came across people from all over the world and it was nice to speak to them and hear their opinions about the climb, the atmosphere the Giro bring about on each stage as they saw quite a few. I like these moments because they approach people from various countries and open their minds and hearts to talk over many things baside cycling.
Froome won the stage but many riders did not finish too far from him and as usual the crowd had fun pushing the riders mainly the spinters helping them get to the top.
Along the climb of Monte Zoncolan there were some pannels with pictures of great riders that made history in the past and I was pleased to take some pictures next to them.
The 100th edition of the GIRO had an important penultimum stage remebering and paying tribute to the young soldiers who fought in the I° WW 1914-1918 and the crowd responded in droves as the riders climbed this Sacred Mountains considering that 22.000 soldiers are buried in the two adiacent cemeteries. Continua a leggere
Amazing performance by the girls both on the TT and on the first stage. It was my first time as spectator and I was really impressed by the power these girls had and comittment to go down on the pedals. The TT was quite fast whereas the tough climb of the first stage was showing the net difference between the specialists on the climbs and the sprinters. Unfortiunately the gap was widening as the last girls were passing in front of my camera but all deserved respect for their effort. Continua a leggere
Again another extraordinary day in the dolomites amid the silence of the peaks still carrying the long winter snow making the view absolutely fantastic. What a dream day for cyclists of all levels just willing to sweat and push hard on the pedals to tackle the gradient of Passo Giau the hardest climb of the day for the professional riders taking part to the Giro. Continua a leggere