"The bib saga, Pt. 2."
This morning I got my bib. If you want to read about the bib saga, Pt. 1, you can check it out here.
Mission accomplished, we hit the road hunting for a good spot to capture the first climb. We stopped a few times so I could climb embankments and scale to the top of walls, looking for a vantage point down the valley. After 3 or 4 spots didn't work we arrived at the summit and I did a bit of bush-bashing. However, the combination of stinging nettles and thorns made it almost impassable.
So we pushed on and settled on one of the corners on the descent.
Once the last of the riders has passed we chased them down the mountain and took a diversion road to get back in front. This road would bring us out near the final descent and our next planned location.
The diversion road was a windy little bugger that made for slow going. After a couple of kilometres we came across an old Fiat truck doing a 50-point turn in the middle of the road. We wound down our window and he started telling us something about “Chiuso”, which translates to closed. Thinking it was just a Giro road block that we could pass through, we pressed on.
It wasn’t until a couple of press cars came back down that we learned the road was permanently closed with a cement barrier. Having burned time with this dead-end, we quickly headed off back down the hill, setting a blistering pace behind the team cars.
On the morning drive to the finish at Sestri Levante (to pickup the bib) we had passed through a tunnel with open arches looking out onto the sea. Deciding that this location would be better than the finish (or less photographed at least), I quickly set up.
As the riders came through the sound of the motorbikes and team cars was deafening.
The light streamed between the columns, illuminating the riders as they passed by, and making for some of my favourite shots so far.
As for the racing, I’m brimming with Aussie pride after Michael Matthews took out a reduced bunch sprint to retain the pink leader’s jersey for another day. With his Orica Greenedge teammates rounding out the top 4 GC positions (special mention to Simon Clarke for his effort in the breakaway), I will be cheering from the sidelines on tomorrow’s 150km stage.
See beardy’s coverage of previous stages below.