Monday, 23 May 2011

22 MAY 2011: GIRO D'ITALIA 2011

and so it happened! 
Just after 5pm, having completed 230km on the road and more than 5000m ascent, the 15th leg of the 94th edition of the tour of Italy crossed the finishing line in GARDECCIA, in the middle of the Catinaccio massif in Val di Fassa. 
Since early Sunday morning there had been a steady build-up of people walking up the 6 km track from Pozza to Gardeccia; the local Rifugi had put out large BBQs and spit roasts, and some mouthwatering hog-roasts had been slowly sizzling since the early morning!
Draught beer and traditional music completed the scene, people spread out on the grass and had a good time enjoying the sunny day. 
Later on in the early afternoon, as you can expect in the mountains,  the weather changed and the rain came in! Not a problem if you are prepared, so always remember to have a waterproof layer with you when you're out and about up here!
Thankfully it was all over by the time the cyclists arrived, with Nieve winning the stage and Garzelli giving a great performance…..
This very tough stage was a display of pure stamina: 4 passes, over 7 hours of riding and a 16% gradient just before the finishing line! What a performance, what a super day!!