Breaking away from our recent bad habits, we arrived for the stage 8 start in Molfetta early.
This time, we were organised. We had even done a load of laundry - thanks to a mixup with our B&B host, which had ended in a room upgrade and a washing machine.
When you arrive at the start of a Giro stage, the traffic controllers always ask ‘prima o dietro?’. Today we made the choice to go dietro (behind), in the hope of getting some nice shots of the riders in the streets of Molfetta.
The only problem was, being Italy (i.e. filled with fully-gesticulated passione), the town descended into complete chaos as soon as the race convoy left. We were forced to try and honk our way out as the swarming crowd knocked our mirrors in.
Stuntman Mike likened the experience to the running of the bulls in Pamplona. The crucial difference being that, instead of being able to gore them with our little Fiat, we were, of course, trying to avoid them. For now.
Small bunches & bidons
Our one stop on the course today was a category 2 climb, up to Monte Sant'Angelo. A series of switchbacks, featuring the Adriatic Sea off in the distance, caught our attention.
The race had, by now, split into smaller bunches so, as the riders passed us, I had just enough time to run from my close-up starting location, up to a higher vantage point for a wider shot.
Once the last rider had passed, we were forced to follow behind. With no passing opportunities of our own for quite some distance, this was the perfect opportunity for a bit of bidon-watching. We added a few more teams to the collection, which is now beginning to fill every cranny of remaining free space in the car.
Soon enough, we were headed for the finish. So too, it seemed, was every Sunday driver in Italy - out a day early. Moreover, they seemed insistent on preventing us making the finish on time. Thankfully, they didn't succeed and we ticked off stage 8 with an uphill finish in the seaside town of Peschici.