All systems no
We were staying just outside the city walls, so I convinced Stuntman Mike that we should drive the very short distance to the stampa (press) parking, to be as close to the start as possible. He reluctantly agreed.
This ‘short’ trip ended up requiring a 5km drive away from the town, then a 5km drive back, on account of all the one-way streets, no through roads and detours.
When we did, finally, make it back, it seemed that the stampa parking had been moved. As a result, we ended up parking just across the street from our accommodation. In other words, a complete waste of time.
The coloured dot
Foligno seemed so familiar to me, this being my third visit on account of the Giro. However, I still can't find my way around anywhere.
To make matters worse, the tightly-packed crowds, plus a number of closed streets, meant it was some time before we arrived at where we needed to be.
All around the town are posters promoting the Giro. The image is from last year, and I can remember seeing the photographer in a window high above the town square. Looking closely I swear I am one of the photographers - just a coloured dot below.
While shooting the first riders rolling down the start ramp, I bumped into Eva (who works for the Giro). We spoke about getting me into a nearby building, to get a view from the window. She pointed us in the right direction.
The race of truth
After spending most of the morning photographing around the town, in was time to get amongst the grapevines.
A quick reccy of the course the previous night hadn't uncovered any key locations, so I just put a finger on the map and said to Mike ‘let's drive here’. Unfortunately, arriving at the crossroad of the course, there was little to be inspired by. After a second misadventure for the morning, the Stuntman was beginning to lose faith in my planning.
Undeterred, and somewhat defiantly, I threw a camera over each shoulder and headed off down the road. I didn't get very far before the first rider came into view. I stopped to snap each one as I strode along, looking for a hero spot to catch the fast guys.
I found it just around the corner. So did fellow photographer Jim, from Brakethrough Media (you might remember him from stage 6), who had also chosen the spot after driving the entire course yesterday. The Stuntman would have been proud of such thorough planning.
We both concluded it was the best spot and waited patiently for the final riders.