Stage 4: CEFALÙ – ETNA
Stage 4: CEFALÙ – ETNA
Tuesday, 9th May 2017
Tuesday, 9th May 2017

Most important meal of the day



Come to Sicily and you’ll eat cannoli. It doesn't matter if it's for breakfast or not. It doesn't matter if you say no. You are having cannoli whether you like it or not. Good thing it is delicious.

Table for two at Etna



Today was the first proper mountain stage for the 2017 Giro, and the first real chance for a shake-up in the GC. Mt Etna is the biggest mountain in Sicily, and coincidentally, must have been named after the first Italian restaurant I visited as a child (in Newcastle).

Sea before summit



After a brief run and gun at the start, we shot off. With only one stop on the coastline before arriving at Mt Etna.

Volcanic panic



The volcano of Mt Etna was spectacular, but the road the riders would be taking to the summit was less of a picturesque, winding mountain road (like the ones we’d sampled on the rest day). Instead it was more of an Autostrade. A wide, freshly resurfaced highway, for all the tourist buses headed to the volcano on every other day of the year. Making matters worse, the barriers keeping the tifosi at bay had been placed right down to 1.5km remaining. In search of some obnoxious crowd action, and the typical tunnel of noise shots, I was sent all the way down past the 2km to go mark.

While trekking down I was recognised by a crew of Sicilian journalists, recent subscribers to Beardy’s Caravan. Before I knew it there was a camera in my face and an interview was underway – hope it all turned out ok.

The lead riders made their way past with the usual cavalcade of motorbikes, cars, and helicopters … then something happened, something I’ve never seen on a Giro stage – all the spectators jumped the barrier, onto the road. By the time the last of the riders were coming through the road was completely clogged with screaming fans. If it wasn’t for the motorcycles in front of each group, punching through, the riders would have had to dismount and walk to the summit. Guess they do things differently in Sicily.
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