Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Giro 2022 Avola-Etna

 The circus comes to town!

La Corsa Rosa came back to home soil on Monday to be greeted by rain! Yep, sunny Sicily, where some journalist remarked they'd need an acclimation-day to get used to the searing heat of Italy's deep south after the first three stages, saw a few teams ride on trainers under their bus' awning rather than hit the road.

It was the same for us, though instead of riding on rollers we rode off to LIDL during a break in the weather.

We weren't the only ones as you can see above - the Wolf Pack staff had come directly from Belgium and were stocking up. It's not just a sponsorship for them, they actually shop there. Turns out teams were at hotels not just up in Catania but all around us, including the swanky golf resort Nibali and Co. used a few years ago. Seemed like the RCS bigwigs were there too?

As we rode out towards Avola Tuesday morning we saw team vehicles heading out from hotels all along the coast. Too bad the previous day was so wet, we would have loved to see all these guys out stretching their legs on the "rest" day!

The roads were still wet Tuesday morning...our bikes need a bath now, but the sun was out as were the crowds in Avola, barely 30 kms from our front door.

We did the fan thing at Lollo Caffe from Napoli, even scoring an espresso.

And thought about Eddy Merckx at Faema. Note Zio Lorenzo's garb here - far from searing heat today!

A sharp-eyed fan spotted newly-retired Sicilian Giovanni Visconti (the linked-to piece needs updating) despite all his incognito clothing and bike! Still the same brands but all understated now as nobody's paying him to look like a billboard. But he's still out there riding a bike!

We weren't too far from the stage, close enough to see various riders go towards the presentations.

Including Arnaud Demare

The smiling Biniam Girmay

Sicily's hero Vincenzo Nibali

And Maglia Rosa, MVdP

After MVdP was presented to the crowd, we headed out onto the course to fly our "W Magro" banner but didn't manage to get on TV (again), then set off for home. We got back to flip on the TV to see they'd covered 67 kilometers, while we'd covered barely 30 in the same time.

W Il Giro!

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