Friday, March 19, 2010

Milano-San Remo

Ciao from San Remo! No photos yet but with free WIFI at our hotel (which is literally steps away from where the descent from the Poggio rejoins the SS1) Larry hopes to have some photos and a report from the race up by tomorrow evening. Today we drove up from Viterbo after flying back from Sardegna (courtesy of the nice folks at the Italian sporting tourism organization) Thursday evening, grabbing some quick Z's and packing some clean clothes and the bikes into our rented Fiat (sorry, no 500 this time but a near-new New Punto which has more interior room for all the extra stuff) before heading up the coast. Our plan was to get up here early enough to ride a bit on the new bike road along the coast, then turn up to the race route and climb the Cipressa and Poggio and continue to the race finish. Nasty-looking clouds suggested "Plan B", exit the autostrada and drive the race route to San Remo. We got a good look at the Manie climb where some have suggested non-sprinters will make an effort to ditch the velocisti and their teams and work together to stay away on the flatter bits -- the descent is very technical with less-than-perfect pavement so it could happen. We continued along the route seeing first-hand why the pros can climb the Cipressa and Poggio in the big-ring and sometimes have to actually slow down/brake in the turns! They're of course much steeper than the coastal route but not steep when compared to mountains. Weather forecast for tomorrow is not good -- if it rains we'll either walk up the top of the Poggio or take the car. If weather is OK we'll take the bikes and ride what we thought we'd do this afternoon, waiting again for the race atop the Poggio. We won't know much about what happened before or after this point in the race like those of you watching on Universal Sports, live internet broadcast--- but we can watch replays later -- standing atop the Poggio when the Classicissima comes past can only be experienced by being here in-person! Larry was excited enough just to see the roads we've watched on TV or video for so many years -- he was remembering where various riders went off the road both going up and down! More tomorrow (we hope) Buona notte tutti!

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