We regrouped again in Montefiridolfi, then again in Tavernelle and Marcialla, where the control point for the long course was. We were fighting a fair amount of wind again, but to this point is was pretty contained by being in the woods or was mostly a tail wind. Well, after marcialla, it really started kicking us around. Either a very strong head or side wind, both were very difficult. When it was a side wind, trees would give you a great little break, but as soon as you were in the open the gusts would hit you and you literally were moved 4 feet to the side while simply hoping to hang on to the bike. This being the 4th day in a row with quite strong winds, I am ready to say enough. Riding home after the pasta party with Luca, we stopped at a traffic light and a gust hit us, again almost knocking you over. I said, at least I know that there will be no wind in the apartment.
Great course, beautiful views, and for the first time this year, riding with hundreds of people in a wonderful event. Fun to be a part of it. While at the nice pasta party at the end, where you also received a bottle of sparkling wine, a couple of guys got a picture sent to their phones from a team member who was doing the granfondo associated with the pro race strada blanche in the Siena area. A picture of Andrea Volpi with Cancellara looking like pals. Great picture. I am ready for a nap (ripostina in Italian as my teammates told me when I said I would go home and sleep), as the wind also seems to really tire me out. 97.0 kilometers in 4:07 to average 23.6 kph with 1408 meters climbed. Great start to the season!
A couple pictures while waiting to regroup in Montefiridolfi, at
the decision point for long or short course. 6 of us decided on the
long course, including Agnese, pictured here. She was to only female
to do the long course. Bravi Agnese!