Lazy days. I was sick you know and could go out. When I finally did, in the late evening of Friday, I couldn't believe it was so warm. It was like in summer: not the gentle air of a spring night but the heavy heat of July, when the city keeps boiling after the sunset and no breeze helps. It was a little shock because when I have got sick the weather was rainy and cold.
It was gloriously sunny on Saturday at my son race and he did very well: never droped and ending at the back of the first group. It was really nice to meet everybody again. On Sunday it was raining cats and dogs when we left by train toward Arezzo for the finish of Giro della Toscana. Fortunately it was cloudy but dry on the line. Fortunately for us: it was raining at the start in Montecatini and I think it kept raining on the race till Florence and more. Riders arrived muddy, exhausted and tense. Amongh them there was Taylor Phinney and I can almost say I was there for him. He is a talent and not just at riding: read his here his blog about Giro della Toscana:
"I feel that it was epic enough to deserve a blog post." he says. At the finish it wasn't that epic thought: we arrived just before the first passage of three in a circuit including a short but steep climb. There was a break away but I was quite sure they were going to be caught at the last lap. Small races are different from a big one: people are different, the atmosphere is just another thing. When a Giro or Tour stage arrives in a small town like that it seems UFO occupy it: pink or yellow stuff were suddenly assembled everywhere, inhabitants are diluted in tons of cycling fans coming from everywhere and you bump everytime in the same people as evrywhere, journalists, photographers, race staff, team staff, the big cyrcus of pro cycling. At small races even team staff are often different, recruited on place. The crowd at the barriers in made of people – old the most - living there and simply actracted by the voice talking loud at the microphone. "Vince Bennati!" one told me "Ha fatto secondo al Romandia!". Ehm... dude... He isn't racing today and wasn't in Romandia... anyway... The press too is local and on the vip tribune there are local authorities and old glories. The most international is Alfredo Martini: you find him everywhere, from children races to Giro stages. Local girls wait on the home made podium. There isn't excitement, just a bit of curiosity when finally the break passes throught. A man shows a pink signal with a blue 2, a Giro stage souvenir probably, and a small wet peloton arrives too.
The final sprint was serious. Ballan won and I could have won a bet. At the BMC bus, while my son wandered collecting team bottles, I waited for Taylor Phinney and when he came asked a short interview. Ballan was still on the podium when we left, the big silver cup in a hand, a big white smile on his face. We took the time to visit the beautifu center of Arezzo and went back home at night. I feel I missed something in that race, as if it was all played away and reading Phinney's blog I see it was.
Check my pictures here: