That left 4 of us climbing Passo della Futa, and Zanobi was first by a couple of minutes after we rode together most of the way. He is a young, I think 25 years old, strong athlete, who doesn't ride that much, but does a fair amount of running and racing. Fun climb. We waited at the top for the other two, and they were there in 10 to 15 minutes. A nice break at the wonderful bar up there, run by the same family for 150 years. One of the generations waiting on us today was a former pro cyclist in the 50's who rode with both Coppi and Bartali. Kind of neat to have the cycling history everywhere here. Filippo decided to return home from there, leaving 3 of us to do the unscheduled long ride. We descended to Firenzuola, then climbed Passo Giogo. I love the area over there and I only get over there 4 to 6 times a year, so it is always special.
A very nice descent from Giogo to Scarperia where we found a fountain for more water. From there, we pushed to the base of the Vetta alle Croce climb with Zanobi leading the way and dropping Roberto and I around 2/3 the way up. Roberto stayed right we me, and we finished the day's last climb together. Not super fast, but a very reasonable pace, which surprised me, as I was pretty tired at the start of the climb. A wonderful descent down Faentina home finishing an excellent tour today. 126.0 kilometers in 5:25 averaging 23.2 kph with 2076 meters climbed. Sweet!
Most of the team at the top of Croci Calenzano, our first climb, but
relatively short and easy - around 450 vertical meters at 5%.
Passo della Futa, a new sign, without stickers, yet. First
big climb and pass of the day.
This restaurant / bar at Passo dell Futa has been owned and operated
by the same family for 150 years. Three generations serving us today.
The oldest was a pro and rode the big tours with Coppi and Bartali.
Top of the last hard climb, one easier climb left, with a slightly
sticker filled sign for proof of today's effort. This is a sunny spot,
so there was a fair amount of snow in places in the shade. None
on the road, though.
A look back toward Firenzuola from Passo Giogo. Look hard
and you can see the beautiful road, and yes, that is snow.