Up at: 6:00
Breakfast: 6:30 (Again early — Ugh!)
Race: 10:45 (A long day as it is a 215K with one 5 climbs — A cat 2, 1, 2, 1 and finishing on a cat 1 climb)
Diary: Still many Ks to the end
What a treat to see Paulo take the Pink Leaders jersey today. The stage win the other day was a real treat for us. But to take the leaders jersey even if only for s short while is such an uplifting experience. For my first Grand tour it is so gratifying to work so hard and see the guys get some success. Again we had a bit of Champagne to celebrate but the guys again only sipped in honor of Paulo’s taking the leaders jersey.
I’m pleased to see Jason McCatney improve each day. At the beginning the flat stages seemed to put him on the limit and he appeared to have a tough time just following wheels the last 30 or 40Ks. But as the race progressed (and gets hilly) he seems to be riding better and better each day. Lately he had been riding closer to the front and helping the team much more. Today when Paulo was in a group up the road, Jason was with many in the groupetto (with the sprinters) trying to help each other make the time cut. They had plenty of time to make it without getting cut. Jason worked pretty hard today so it was totally OK that he was in the Groupetto. He was even thinking down the road (stages to come) when we heard Paulo was getting closer to taking the jersey today (with about 20 or so K to go). So much so that he asked Lorenzo if he could ride even slower than the groupetto to save energy. The last cat 1 climb was fairly tough and he wanted to save it to work for Paulo later. What a pro!!! So Lorenzo said yes, take it easy. But the police moto with us wanted to finish with our group (I’m guessing) because he motioned to Jason to hold on to the moto and he would tow Jason up to the Groupetto. Jason did so and was almost launched PAST the groupetto. But he did not pass them and just cruised back up to them. His gap just prior to the police motos help was only about 15 seconds but the moto guy wanted to help Jason. I guess it could be pretty boring following one guy the last 20 or so Ks. Because that police officer was the only one (Behind) our group. And at this point there was no more commissaries so no one to bust him/fine him for holding on to a vehicle.
The only other team here at our Hotel is Panaria – Navagare. There are only two Continental pro team (formerly Tier 2 team category) here at the Giro. The other is Columbia Sella Italia and they won toady’s stage. All other teams here are Pro Tour teams (formerly Tier 1 team category). All because of the new Pro Tour rules that makes it mandatory that all 20 Pro Tour teams are here it makes it a little tough for Continental Pro teams.
Our Hotel was a buzz with Paulo in Pink. The media are like a swarm of Bees following the pink jersey.
I tried to get gas in the AM but it was so early that it was not open (staffed). But had an automatic pay machine that took only one type of card OR cash. It’s in Italian so I tried to figure it out. I did get gas eventually but I could not figure out how to get a receipt for my cash payment. Geoff was kind enough to pay me when I told him my story. He said he would figure out a way to get reimbursed. A couple bucks would be no big deal. But gas in Europe is expensive so it was a solid 40 Euro to gas the car. That’s about $50 USD.
Up at: 6:00