Giro D’Italia — Stage 18

You have to be a little mean/agressive

Today’s stage finished in Riese Pio X.

It is often hard to get out of town. Finishing in a small city or big. It does not really matter. But generally a small city is a bit harder like it is here in Riese Pio X. Because people flock from everywhere. It’s the Giro! People will come. And heaps of people in a small city with few ins and outs means a cluster. There was a finishing loop through the city. A rarity. But it happens. Because of that, the second team cars were pulled out of the caravan. So, our car went to team parking right away. I knew it was going to be a cluster after the race. So I backed the car in next to our team bus. This way I could have a quick getaway. It is only 15 Ks to the next hotel. But parked wrong or behind a car could mean double the time getting out of the city. And we need to get to the hotel ASAP to start the “real work” we have.

Craig and I loaded bikes and tried to get the hell out of Dodge. The direction to the hotel took us past the finish line. We left so quickly after the race there was still podium going on. And the streets were crowded with not only spectators but cars trying to get out of town (spectators who did not feel the need to watch the podium ceremonies). I was driving the second car and Craig was driving the first car. I was glued to Craig’s bumper. Leave ANY gap and someone would fill it. Spectator, Cyclist or worse another car. I was literally 2 feet (or maybe 3 feet tops) feet from his bumper trying to get out of there. And honking like we were mad men. You had to otherwise the crowd and announcers noise would drown the car engine noise and spectators would not hear you coming. Then they would walk blindly in front of us. In the end Craig and I made it to the hotel in a pretty reasonable time. But you have to be a little mean/aggressive. Even in a team car the spectators don’t really care.

In general, I think this are/region of Italy is the most beautiful. I was here ages ago riding my bike and the terrain is near perfect. Hills one way. Rollers another direction and flats yet another direction. Near perfect.

The hotel we are at is the Hotel Bellavista in Montebeluna. The name speaks for itself “Bellavista” beautiful view of course. I would love to travel someday to Italy and other countries I have visited. I’ll save my race books with cities and hotels (I have a poor memory chip in my brain). This way I will have some reference points if I ever go on a vacation to these places.


Owner of and long time professional race mechanic.