I’m still alive! That may not come as much of a surprise to you, but you didn’t see Saturday’s storm. I was starting to worry for a while.
To be fair though, I came out of it pretty well. Saturday was actually a great day. Although I didn’t get as much sleep as I hoped the night before and got off to a late start things went fairly well with following the race. I did get kicked off the course very early on, but had expected that and had already made a backup plan, which worked nicely.
The stage was an individual time trial, where the riders set off a few minutes apart and ride the same course on their own. It means that they are actually finishing over the course of several hours. Because I still had a long transition to get to todays start I couldn’t afford to stay for all of the finishes, but wanted to at least get there. So I got to the finish in good time and then set off for today’s stage.
Chatting with one of the racers on the way down the hill was interesting.
He said it was tough, very tough. I asked if he was happy with his ride – he shrugged and said “we have to go very fast today, because Wiggo will go very very fast.” He was right.
Anyway, the riding was going great that afternoon, until I noticed the clouds. And heard the thunder. I could see signs for a town, so I upped my pace a bit, and got there as the sky turned black.
I spent the next hour standing with the locals watching the hail and determining that there was no train, but might be a bus. The hail was quite impressive at this stage, being slightly smaller than golf balls.
When it stopped though I leapt on my bike and rode for the bus station. I got there to find that there was also no bus, but at least a roof. This was good, because the hail came back. This time it was smaller, but there was a lot more of it. I spent nearly an hour huddling with a bunch of local kids as the hail filled the streets, and collapsed a small building nearby. Scary, but impressive.
I was also madly searching Google maps for accommodation nearby. When the hail stopped again I leapt back on my bike and rode through flooded streets to what should have been “Agritourismo San Pelligrino”. Except there was no sign. I saw someone at the window, so I knocked on the door to be sure, and when he answered I said hopefully “Agritourismo San Pelligrino?”
The someone was Silvano. He didn’t speak English and seemed to have never heard of Agritourismo San Pelligrino, but he took me in, gave me a towel, a seat, some cake and a glass of wine, then went and got his daughter who also doesn’t speak English, and then drove me and my bike to Villa Maria, where I am now. I like Silvano.
I now still have a long way to go to get to today’s start, but at least I survived the hail!
You can see if I get to the start here.
Edit: I got a flat, and as I was fixing it someone came and offered me a lift to the start, so I did get there. On the road again now, but in a new livetrack session sorry. This is the new link.
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