The photos tell the story - EPIC is the word! We were determined to see La Corsa Rosa live on Tre Cime di Lavaredo if the race could get there. We didn't come all this way to watch on TV!The plan? Heather, Dee and John wanted to ride the course from Cortina to Tre Cime, then meet up with Larry and Ann at the van - full of warm clothes, hot tea and most important, shelter from the blizzard that was forecast!
Our intrepid riders left around 10 AM, the van about an hour later after picking up some picnic supplies just in case the pickings were slim on the climb or it was just too cold and nasty to look for something. Our plan to drive to the base of the climb was originally to use a road not used by the race, but with the course change we headed against the route out of Cortina while our riders took the other direction over Tre Croci and on to Tre Cime. Heather phoned to let us know what the conditions were as we arrived a the first checkpoint, the turnoff to the San Angelo climb. The police told us this road was CLOSED! "But this isn't even the race course!" was my reply...to no avail. "On foot or on a bicycle" were the only ways they were letting people up this road, despite the fact it was almost 10 kms from the turnoff to Tre Cime. I muttered something about pulling forward into a driveway to turn the van around and idled away from the volunteer policeman, who was just then distracted by a cyclist with a question.
THAT was the break I was wishing for! Instead of turning around, we simply drove slowly on...trying not to re-interest the cop, who continued his conversation with the cyclist. In a few kms we cruised up behind a Giro gadget vendor and figured we had it made. Fine so far, but things got dicey again as we drove up to the Tre Cime turnoff. NOWHERE to park, every place cleared enough of snow had something parked on it while others were shoveling their own places. Lacking a shovel I thought our luck might have run out but after flipping a quick U-turn it looked like we might be able to continue up the climb! That moment where you need to look like you belong there when your eyes meet the person controlling the intersection passed briefly as a nod let us through! We were IN! Now where to park? Signs reading "Parking 20 Euro" were along the road, just before the first steep ramps of the Tre Cime climb. I'd have gladly paid, but when we swung round to face the road next to a makeshift tent and stopped...nobody bothered us.
Better yet, a group of guys inside this tent had a cooking setup! Sausage, polenta, "frico", wine, beer and more. I asked if they were selling these things and they said "NO, but why not share with us, where are you from?" as they eyed our license plates. I asked how many of them were there and quickly retrieved the correct number of CycleItalia caps from the van as an offering to repay their hospitality.
Needless to say, we became honorary Friulians for the day, enjoying their food along with sharing the food and wine we brought, once our riders arrived, making the many hours waiting for the race to arrive pass quickly. Finally, the racers began the final climb of Corsa Rosa 2013 as you can see in the photos.
Thanks to Dee & Ann and John for joining us...we're planning on seeing next year's Giro as well so reserve early if you want to join us.