The view from our hotel
Today was the first of the grand mountain stages in the Giro, which made it an inopportune day for me to have no legs. But that's bike racing. The stage started in Como and hit a 12km climb early before descending, winding around Lake Como, climbing up the second mountain (Ghisello, home of the Madonna del Ghisello which I wrote about before) and heading to the finish. Because the first 15km leading into the first climb were narrow and quite hilly too, it was on like Donkey Kong from the start. USA got to the front and drove it, and no matter how much I screamed at my legs, they just didn't behave and I ended up in a piano group of 5. Some parts of it were quite cool, like when the ambulance drove up to our group on the climb and gave us some ice cold water and a can of coke. Problem was, there was only 1 bottle of water and 1can of coke, so we were passing it around from rider to rider, each savouring a couple of mouthfuls. I had just assumed I would miss out, until Bronzini (ex world champ on the track) passed me the can and immediately became my favourite person in the world. Happiness is a can of coke on a mountain climb in the summer.
Also in my group was a lady from Fenix who kept going to the front and driving it. I have no idea why. Our day was clearly over, but she just kept wanting to bridge the 15 minute gap to the leaders. I asked her whether she spoke English, so I could find out what she was thinking, but she said no. I assumed she was a hack who had no idea how to ride piano. Later I found out she was a former world champion on the road, which may have explained those little rainbow loops on her kit. And she was Russian, which may have explained the rest.
Shara, Tiff and Carlee all had good days, hurrah! Tomorrow we ride to Livigno, which means around 90km of almost pure climbing. And with that, I am off to bed.