Saturday, April 15, 2023

Giro di Sicilia 2023

 The Race Across Beauty

Winner Alexey Lutsenko

The Giro di Sicilia 2023 ended on Friday with the "queen stage" finishing in Giarre, not too far from us in Siracusa so why not go see it?

Bikes on train work very nicely!

And try-out the "bring your bike on the train" scheme? We hopped on "Buzz" and the "Super Gravel Monster" and in 5 minutes were at the local train station, bikes on hooks and on our way. Two hours later we hopped off in Giarre and headed onto the course in the reverse direction.

There was a place on the course where the riders would pass-by twice so that was our goal, though we figured we'd see them one way or another even if we didn't make it that far up the side of Mt. Etna.

As you see above, we made it! Two hours slogging up the side of the volcano with a stop to buy some panini, etc. since locals advised us there was nothing much at the GPM. The climb took more effort than we'd bargained for but we made it just in time for a few bites of lunch before the riders passed-by the first time.

The race zoomed past, but not before we unfurled our "W MAGRO" banner, the same one we bring to most races. But this time the TV cameras showed it to the delight (as we would find out later) of Eurosport commentator Riccardo Magrini.

We finished our pranzo and tuned-in the Eurosport live-stream on a phone as we waited for the race to return, this time up a steep climb before the descent we'd ridden up. The race was really broken up by this tough route, over 4000 meters of climbing - truly the "Queen Stage".

This racer held onto the car most of the way it seemed, though no officials were around to see it, so...

We were getting cold up here and with the race so broken up we decided to ride down against the route before the race caravan went by completely. We rode down a long way (realizing in the process just how far up we'd slogged!) down before the gruppetto (who seemed OK with it as the photo above shows) came past so felt a bit less guilty about going down before the race went by.

We got all the way back down to Giarre in time to see the end of the presentations. After an aperitivo we were back on the train and home to shower and watch the Eurosport replay (and learn how excited "Magro" was to see our banner) by 8 PM!

Next race - the Giro d'Italia in Napoli!!!

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