Sunday, May 22, 2011

Giro d'Italia on Piancavallo

Despite the tough ascent of Zoncolan yesterday, the guys don't get to rest: today's a long stage from Conegliano, up Piancavallo, Forcella Cibiana, Passo Giau, Fedaia, etc.  I knew a good steep spot (14%) on the tornanti before Bornass, where they'd be going slow enough to see them up close and get some pictures.  My neighbor Silvano came over and reminded me the race was leaving Conegliano at 1030, so I needed to get going.  I glided 7 km down to Pedemonte (178m), climbed 6 km up to Bornass (797m), and rested awhile in the shade.  There were hundreds of cyclists and other tifosi, who'd walked up after parking somewhere.  They lined the road, accumulating in tornanti-ends and any shady spots.

I rode back down about a km to the steepest point, parked the bike, and waited.  After awhile the breakaway slowly climbed by, and then small groups, then a very big group and finally more dribs and drabs who were lagging at the back.  After the race was gone I headed back down (too crowded to go fast) and then home.  Now I'm watching them climb Forcella Cibiana on RAI Sport.   It's a good stage.

Edited to add:  this morning my neighbors told me one of the fans had died yesterday trying to ride up Piancavallo to watch the race.  I remember a helicopter landed on the road and we all went around it, but I had no idea what had happened.   My sympathy to his family and friends.

Le battistrade

Trying to bridge the gap to the breakaway

Danilo Di Luca 

Another gruppetto

First of the main bunch

Some of the guys struggling to re-enter the main bunch

Love the paint job on Euskaltel's Orbea bikes 


  1. Great pictures! Did you get a new camera?

  2. Yes, after 9 years the old Fuji finally broke down so I got permission from my CFO to get a Pentax Optio. It's rain, sweat and drop-proof so hopefully will endure the rough conditions of cycling.