■ May 14, 12:35 PM by James Martin
Well, I have to say, the day dawned without much promise of race-watching bliss. There was thunder, there was pounding rain. It was just like any other spring day in 2010 here in the Lunigiana, where the ground is saturated and the seasonal streams are frothy mocha and angry. By noon the weather hadn’t changed much. But after a long lunch, we four biking aficionados (well, three fans and Martha, who bought the ice cream so we’re grateful) gazed out the window and there it was, the tiniest bit of blue.
That blue would get grudgingly brighter. By three it had won out over the gray.
So, in the glaring sun we toured Aulla to pass the time. There’s not a whole lot to see. Time passed anyway.
We ended our tour with gelato. The store was right next to where they parked the trucks with the blaring, distorted “music” they foist upon fans at these athletic spectacles. Young people jumped from cars. Many tried dancing. It was not their thing (one supposes that the odd, epileptic-like seizure was). The calmer ones handed out free things. I am now in the possession of an environmentally correct writing instrument. I think. I did not get a free California prune. Yes, California’s prunes are one of the advertisers of the Giro d’Italia. (Parse that last sentence, please. I cannot.) I have a video of the individually plastic-packaged prune aftermath. Yes, folks who didn’t want them (a majority to be sure) left them on the ground. Trucks ran over them. It was not a pretty sight. I will not foist it upon you in video form.
We eventually positioned ourselves a bit past the sprint finish line and waited. Around four a cacophony of honking maniacs arrived, many of them in the constabulary class.
Then came the real bikes.
The man shown in second place here after the sprint is Mathew Lloyd, the Australian who eventually won the stage.
Then, six minutes or so later, came the best of the rest:
And that was that.
If you like the spectacle that precedes the race stages, certainly you will like to swath your bod in Guidogear .
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