Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Giro d'Italia 2017 ETNA

Buongiorno from Sicily!

We flew into Milan the other day, dropping off some things at our HQ hotel while gathering some others and then jetted down to Catania where our faithful taxi man, Carmelo "Nuvolari" whisked us down to Siracusa. A quick nights sleep and we were renting a car to visit La Corsa Rosa.

We were able to drive within 1 km from the finish line (gotta love the Giro, SO much more relaxed than that other race in July where the leader wears the yellow shirt) but not to park so we drove back down to a parking spot around the 2 km marker. We then got out and hiked up to the finish, not only to see what was going on but more importantly... see what was for lunch! First up was a panino with grilled sausage....

...followed by an arancino, both with Sicilian beers. MMMMmmmm! Of course we also found some excellent Italian sweets and a proper cafe afterwards.

Inspector Montalbano uses the word MINCHIA all the time on TV, but it's not something you want to use in polite company!

This fellow even brought his own goat!

Fans of "The Shark" were up surprise!

By the time the race arrived, we were back down around 2 km to-go. No barriers here as they began about 1500 meters from the finish line. Up-close-and-personal describes it pretty well. Where else could you be this close to the stars of your sport?


Hubert DuPont wasn't contending for a win here.

Heather encourages a few of the Wilier team guys.

A stiff headwind made any sort of attack here kind of pointless. Nibali threw one in, but didn't kill himself in a fruitless pursuit of the Maglia Rosa to wear into his hometown of Messina the following day.

Meanwhile, the guys who had already done their work sought the draft of a car wherever they could, or a push from a friendly spectator. You know these guys are pros, well-used to motor-pacing sessions when you see how close they can ride in the draft of the car!

Enrico Gasparatto did a lot of work earlier for Nibali and Co. meaning he was pretty well fried by the time this fan tried to encourage him (and scam his bottle) during the final few kilometers.

Now we wait for our friend Giuseppe to provide us with a couple of bikes to ride while we're here in Sicily. We're trying a "fly-away" strategy for Sublime Sicily and the future down here, though at some point we'll probably haul a bunch of stuff (bikes, clothing, etc.) down here and leave if for repeat visits? Then we can simply fly back and forth between here and our Northern Italian HQ. We can dream, no?

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