Saturday, May 26, 2018

Giro d'Italia Stage 20 CERVINIA

Karl and Laurie wanted to see the Giro so off we went this morning to Cervinia. It's barely an hour (to the base of the climb) from Piedmont Cycling Resort so we departed around 9 AM with the idea of riding to the top, finding some lunch and waiting for the race. Why didn't you join us?

Larry decided to join in the fun and ride the climb himself since the plan was not to try to drive through road closures on the course. He's way short of cycling fitness but decided to prove "gearing and attitude" are more important. Above you see the iconic switchbacks which to us define this climb,

Zio Lorenzo was glad he had low gears as this climb was a struggle, but knowing the climb from countless rides up here helped a lot. Above is another shot of Larry's favorite part.

The ristorante Larry hoped to get a table at was full and no amount of pleading would make a table available, so it was time for Plan B. Why not pop over to the place we dined at last week with our other group? It will certainly be open and since the guy will likely remember me from last week scoring a table here should be easy. It was and soon enough Karl and Laurie arrived to enjoy a tasty Valdostana pranzo. 

And who should walk in? None other than RAI Sport's own cycling historian and main man with the cycling gossip, BEPPE CONTI. He was nice enough to pose for this photo and to chat a bit about this year's Giro and other cycling subjects. He's even got a new book out, "Mangiare, Bere e Pedalare" so he's well aware of our idea of "pedala forte, mangia bene) But we needed to get back to the road to see the race!

Above you can see the contenders coming around the iconic switchbacks around 5 kms from the finish line.

And the RAI TV camera moto,

From our spot one could look down on scenes like this.

And this.

But still run across the road to get shots like this.

Unlike many, we waited until the broom wagon came past before making our way back down to the Piedmont Cycling Resort car. But rain clouds were coming in and we wanted to avoid wet roads - we just made it!

So Chris Froome wins the Giro d'Italia (barring any mishaps tomorrow in Rome) 2018. As regular blog readers know we're not big fans of Froome or SKY, but rather than go on about that, you can read an opinion piece HERE that pretty much sums up our opinion.

As Heather said, "I enjoyed the play, I just wish the actors had been cast better." Now we wait to see what the authorities do with Froome's doping case. Beppe Conti told us that he thinks Froome will lose the Vuelta title where he gave the tainted urine sample, but barring any positive dope tests here at the GIro his victory will stand.

We think La Corsa Rosa deserves better and Conti seemed to agree,

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