After traveling via car boot, hatchback, way back in da back of tha car, we made it to Montecatini Terme and drove through town, a bit north to our beautiful apartments for a couple of days.
This place is wonderful, it has a stream that runs behind it that you can hear at night, flowers blooming everywhere, a resident kitty, wonderful hosts and plenty of room for us all. When we arrived a couple of things we needed to get done, laundry and groceries. It took a little while to find a self service laundry mat but we finally found the Flower Wash and it just so happened to be across the street from a grocery store - SCORE! Back up the hill we went!
A couple of days later we headed back into town for the race hotel, Club Europa. When races are this size and category, they have to feed us and house us. We stayed there Wednesday through today(Sunday) and we were glad to be back at the apartments for another blissful week of training.
The race - Giro della Toscana, was interesting to say the least. I did this race last year with TIBCO and I remember it being a little crazy - tiny roads, road furniture, cars, crazy peleton, etc. But this year seemed a bit more of all of that and then some which I will get to in a minute but first, the prologue on Wednesday night. It was supposed to start at 7:30pm but didn’t start till 8pm, my official start time - 9:19pm!!! And there were girls racing well into 10pm! We all laughed about it and didn’t get back to the hotel till around midnight - ahhh Italy.
On the second or third stage, can’t remember, one of the girls was crossing the finish line after a field sprint and ran smack into a camera woman. Also one of those days, we were caught in a bit of a traffic jam coming into the last couple of kilometers and most roads had cars intermingling with us. All this lead to a protest before the last stage and the biggest names and teams, including us, decided enough was enough and didn’t start the last day. There was a group of 40 girls(originally 140) that started and we watched them as they left out of town.
This week we will be preparing for our team time trial that is on Sunday and then I head home on the following Tuesday. Still no pictures but when I can download them all I will and trust me some of them are classic!!!
Eating: mozzarella balls and fresh tomatoes
Watching: BBC, it’s the only English speaking channel on TV
Listening: Walk off the Earth
Reading: Moloka’i by Alan Brennert
Website: http://www.podiumcafe.com/2013/9/14/4729592/giro-della-toscana-2013 An explanation of the week’s events in better wording than I could ever put it and links to other riders from different countries and their point of views.