04 June 2007

Review of the past few ......

Well this looks like it might be a bit of the tour itself also.
The Giro d'Italia has come and gone,
The Festa della Republica, June 2, come and gone,
and my brother and sister in law, come and gone also.....but lots of fun to savor over the next bit of time. The Giro d'Italia is to Italy what the Tour de France is to France. High energy, top notch bicycle racing over a grueling 3 weeks all over Italy with enough pain and suffering to last a life time, or at least till the Tour du France kicks off about a month later. The long road races, the breath taking mountain climbs and descents, often in weather just one step off snow on top to add to the effort. It's every bit as thrilling as it's more famous cousin, and taken just as seriously here not only by the racers, but by the Italian fans as well. Some of the racers use it as a training tour for the French tour. Ugh, gluttons for punishment or adrenalin/endorphin junkies I've never been quite sure which it is.
We had some of the support crew stayed with us when the tour rolled into our big town of Pinerolo, situated at the mouth of our valley, played host to the tour. It was an exciting couple of days, with last years Miss Italia ( a local Piedmont girl, second year running) coming to town the night before to add a bit of glitz and excitement to the event the following day. Our crew got up early to put up the various banners and advertisements that helps to keep this show on the road. The crowds were thick and the excitement palatable with loads of hype and pink afloat to keep the kiddies and parents all aglow with the anticvipation of the cycle race coming to town. The race to the finish line was marred by a light rain that started just before their arrival, making the sprint a slippery affair exacerbated by plastic ads placed on the last few feet that proved to make a dangerous spot where the pack started falling like dominoes behind the winners in an ugly end to an exciting race. Alessandro Petacchi, a long time favorite, won his third win of this tour and his 22nd win of the national tour. It was a fun day conjuring up memories for me of when Bernard Hinault and Greg Lemond use to bring a bit of European excitment to Colorado when the "Coors Classic" race was still alive and cycle racing was a big event every year. Fabrizio reminisced about coming to the Pinerolo stage with his grandfather and it was a big day out from Serre Marchetto. It was nice to make some new memories.

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