Tuesday, September 24, 2013

A day at the UCI World Championships

Yesterday, I had a day off, and therefore it was my day to watch the racing happening in Florence this week.  I incorrectly estimated the timing of the women's junior group, so Emily and I arrived to watch just after the last racer went through.  We did get back in time to watch the entire group of 72 men's under 23 racers go through one by one.  It was really fun.  We watched in the city center, which involved hearing some whistles, then a motorcycle, then the cyclist, then a following car.  They were all going pretty fast, but our spot involved watching them come around a curve, then do a mostly straight stretch toward the Campanile at the Duomo.  A beautiful spot, and fun to watch.

Tourism does not stop for the event, so part of the fun was watching people and groups see what was going on, then try to understand how they might get from point A to point B on opposite sides of the race course.  There are officials and multiple types of police that will tell people where they can cross.  Some people want the world to turn for them and are quite put out with the fact of walking an extra 2 or 3 hundred meters to get where they are going.  Mostly, people seem to be enjoying the event, and I give the organizers my highest marks for the officials who are helping and directing people.  Although I use my Italian to ask directions, they respond first in Italian, then follow up with excellent English.  The course is amazing for spectators going through the city center.

The cyclists were all turning pretty big gears, and I was surprised at first not to see faster spins.  But thinking about it, they were coming out of a turn, on the cobbled part of the course, and they probably do not want to change gears too often.  Anyway, really fun.  Below is a video of one of the riders going through along with a few pictures.  Ciao.

video

The course going toward the Piazza del Duomo.


Here comes another rider.


And there he goes!


A little boy watching from the window of his apartment.


Emily made some flags to hang on the railing of our terrace.
One for the US and one for Italia.  Go teams!


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