Saturday, May 19, 2012

Living the dream....again

Our Cilento tour (sadly) didn't go this year but we'll use the time for other projects, including a little side trip to see La Corsa Rosa. We did this on the final day of Taste of Tuscany but that final wrap-up will be in our next post. Larry went off to the Italian side of the Matterhorn this morning to climb the final 25 kms and await the race finish. Good idea, but the execution came up short in a way...the last 10 kms of the climb were under a steady rain! After two hours of slogging away at the climb Larry arrived well and truly cold and hungry - way too hungry for a simple panino along the race course. This called for drastic action! He popped into a 4-star hotel at the 100 meters-to-go point and asked if their ristorante could feed a hungry and wet cyclist? The waiter said, SI, but the kitchen  was about to close so Larry sat right down after spying Giro bigwigs like Angelo Zomegnan and others dining. Wow! Pranzo with the VIP's, including ex-pro Andrea Tafi, whose back you can see in the dining room shot. A nice dish of risotto and a steak went down very easily along with some local vino rosso. Larry even dried out and warmed up a bit, but still changed into some dry clothes before heading out to the bar/lobby where the Giro was on TV. A nice, comfy couch in a warm hotel beat the heck out of freezing at the roadside! But with the leaders at 10 kms from the finish, he bundled up and took a spot at the 100 meter mark, where view of the big screen TV was perfect to monitor the action. It was just 3 degrees C outside so the 10 kms the racers covered seemed an eternity, but it was worth it! Finally a real attack and a new maglia rosa, BRAVO! As frozen Larry made his way back down the wet and slippery switchbacks, he pulled over to allow the gruppetto and other stragglers to pass by - they looked pretty grim, cold and wet, but the team buses were just a few kms back down the climb so they were warm and dry soon....unlike Larry who had 25 kms of descending to get back to the van and into some dry clothes before the drive back to Hotel Ariotto. Another epic day at the Giro!

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