Noutate nou-nouță!!! Primul guest post de pe Oama’s weblog!!! Zlatko ne povestește cum a fost la Giro anul ăsta pentru că io n-am cînd, parol! Pînă mă adun eu începe următorul Giro 🙂 Vă salut, vă pup, îs bine, pun bani la pușculită pentru următoarea ieșire la munte 🙂 Now enjoy 🙂
From time to time Oana has ideas. Yesterday while running was such a time. The problem was that she hasn’t got round to writing a blog post on our Stelvio trip. The solution (not very original and taken from Fat Cyclist) is for me to write a guest post. So here goes.
When the Giro route was announced the first thing was to check the weekend stages to see which weekend is the best suited to our needs. It was the case of good news bad news. Good news was that our best shot was the queen stage to Stelvio. Bad news is that we were able to see only one stage and that Stelvio is some 7 hours drive from Zagreb. But that wasn’t stopping us and so we packed ourselves and our bikes and got going.
First stop Brescia. Since we were arriving in Brescia Friday evening and leaving early in the morning we looked for a simple place near the highway. It was a small bed and breakfast place – great for just sleeping over. Downside was that parking was in a dark spot so we decided to bring bikes to the room with us;)
Saturday was an early morning start. We had to drive three hours to the bottom of the climb and climb the last 20 km of the stage before 5 o’clock when the race arrives. So we shared a morning menu in the gas station – Oana had an espresso and I had a Brioche. Italians are very pragmatic with their coffee – you drink it in two sips without even sitting down. So when we sat and enjoyed our breakfast we got a couple of confused looks:)
One good thing about going to giro is that you can hardly get lost – there are so many fans and official veichles all going in the same direction that you just follow everyone else. Sometimes we even let some cyclists pass us on the descents;)
Start of the climb is at Bormio where we left the car and continued with bikes. But first we took a look at the older part of the city and drank another espresso/coke to overdose on coffein and sugar;)
Soundtrack to Giro is provided by vans that sell merchandise. They have loudspeakers and have a recording of a very enthusiastic lady offering „maglia rosa originale!!“ All respect to the drivers that for three weeks listen to same five minute clip;)
After all the preparations we started climbing:)
After 45 minutes of climbing we stopped because of the beautiful waterfall. And beause we needed a break to rest, eat and eat:) Bags on the back of the bike – well we knew that it would be cold on the top so we took warm clothes and a lot to eat. It proved to be a very smart choice;)
Here we stopped again. Again drink, eat and stretch. This time it was really a beautiful panorama to stop and look at. But the funny thing was that I was exchanging SMS messages with my brother to know what is happening in the race. Every time i wrote a message i started: we stopped to eat something;)
All in all there are 37 hairpins leading up to the top. Each is numbered in descending order when climbing. That was simptomatic of the climb – you could almost feel that Switzerland is near – everything is in its place. Even the road is perfectly reasonable and beautiful. Almost to a point that it lessens the feeling of being in nature.
Next day we had to cross another pass – the Gavia. Compared to Stelvio Gavia seemed much wilder- with one side of the mountain in clouds and the opposite in sunshine. Snow was almost two meters high on one place besides the road. Even the space on wich the road was built had a sense that was taken by force from the mountain. We had a plan to climb Gavia too with bikes but didn’t have time. This time – I’ve put this climb on my bucket list.
We reached the top of the climb after little less then three hours. First thing was to change clothes, eat something (again) and then take a photo. We found a great place to place our bikes – only one empty in a very good place. Now our red bags have blue spots from the spray paint;). And now that i think of it maybe someone was upset that we covered their support graffitti – sorry;(
Then another one with better background.
The bike in the middle of the picture is Cannondale EVO – the same frame that Liquigas rides. There are all sorts of bikes all around. Every so often we were poiting to each other –LOOK at that one!! And the best part is that we can leave our bikes alone without a worry in a world – if somebody would steal our bike while Cannondale EVO is lying near it would be a story worth it;))
Not only sporty people come to watch the stage. These are more like football fans. After each stage there is „processo alla tappa“ show on RAI. These guys had „prosecco alla tappa“ show going on;)
Then the guys started coming.
I couldn’t belive that last ones came more then 40 minutes later – it seemed much less. All respect to all racers that finish. We climbed last climb of one stage and were tired for couple of days. They ride every day, much harder for three weeks. True heroes.
After the stage finish we descended back to Bormio and headed to our hotel. Family run (I think that we met with the owner) great place with great food in the restaurant. True that after whole day on the mountain we were not picky during the dinner – despite eating all the time during the day we had a big dinner. Goes without saying that we slept like babies;)
The town where the hotel was located didn’t have giro pass through this year but that didn’t stop the locals paying tribute to the race. Pinocchio was turning the pedals and had a Maglia rosa;) Needless to say – on the route of the Giro itself there are all sorts of pink baloons, ribbons, cars, donkeys – anything you can imagine. True festival.
Whole next day we were traveling back home. We decided to take it easy and take the scenic route next to lake Garda.
Garda is beautiful and so we stopped for lunch and to strech our legs. After that we headed home and listened to the last stage time trial on radio in on the autostrada;)