GABICCE MARE – SALTARA (ITT)
Weather: Overcast, light rain, no wind. High 70s / Low 80s.
Course Overview (according to the Giro d’Italia FIGHT FOR PINK Race Book): 54,8km time trial. First 24 km on Monte di Gabicce: climb, false flat and descent, continuous left and right bends with no straight sections worthy of note. Cross Pesaro (split time point) with some sections of narrow road with road surface in paving slabs. A mostly flat sections follows as far as the as the short climb (steep in parts) of Novilara. There follow several kilometers of narrow roads, sometimes descending with technical bends, leading to the long straight of Via Flamina. After about 12 straight and mostly flat kilometers the final climb begins.
Course Overview (Based on observation): This Time Trial is a long Time Trial. It starts in one town seaside town and ends in another slightly more interesting seaside town. In the middle of the course there is a lengthy and somewhat hilly (though otherwise unremarkable) greenway/urban-type park.
On the start ramp, the announcer, dressed like he is everyday (pink polo with hard-popped collar, jeans and Nike hightops) looks and nods at Gert Steegmans, Team Omega Pharma Quickstep, knowingly on account of Guns and Roses, Welcome To The Jungle having just started and who wouldn't want to start their Individual Time Trail with Welcome to The Jungle playing super loud on a Major Concert-level speaker system draped in pink chiffon tissue paper and pink balloons? "Talk about auspicious," is what their eyes/smiles said, like an invisible-fist-bump to each other as dude steadied himself for the countdown.
Team Vini Fantini-Selle Italia using a Taxi-cab Minivan for one of their Time Trial follow cars. The service was Taxi Gabicce.
An old man walking with two ceramic cups of espresso in hands on the way from the bar to the table where his wife was seated and patiently awaiting his return. Eyes facing down, staring at his hands, focusing and concentrating on his walk back to the table. The espresso cups were full and his hands were shaking very badly, the cups rattled.
General Classification: Top Five
This Field Report was written from the second floor of Sally Bed and Breakfast in the town of Sansepoloco.
A fact about Sansepoloco: The economy in Sansepolco is based on Craft Industries (gold and lace in particular) and small and medium industrial countries.
Currently it’s balmy, a bell is ringing, every ristorante in town is “completo” because Stage 09 of the Giro begins here tomorrow. Bedazzled bicycles and and bicycle parts are in every window in every shop on the square. Stage 09 ends in Firenze/Florence.